Home > Metablogging > A win for the spammers

A win for the spammers

June 8th, 2006

I’ve always resisted imposing general restrictions on comments. To make life easy for genuine commenters, I’ve dealt with trolls and spammers manually. But, after a period when they’ve been in retreat, the spammers are back in force. So, I’m implementing a moderation scheme. If it works as intended, commenters will have their first comment moderated until I approve it, and will then be automatically approved.

To simplify things, regulars (or those who plan to be regulars) can just comment here, and I’ll approve them en masse.

If this doesn’t work, I’ll probably go to one of those annoying code-deciphering thingies. If readers would prefer annoying code-deciphering thingies, feel free to say so.

If it works well, I’ll be able to reduce the class of words, like pharm*cy that trigger the automoderation software.

Update It looks as if everyone who has a comment in the database is approved, unless they trigger the automoderation tests. And, so far, the spammers are being consigned to moderation, so this may work OK.

Categories: Metablogging Tags:
  1. June 8th, 2006 at 15:58 | #1

    Seems like a good idea

  2. June 8th, 2006 at 15:59 | #2

    It’s a shame you had to do it, but I’m personally quite looking forward to your next post, in which I trust you’ll discuss the question of whether it’s economically possible to go debt-free, thereby repaying your college loans, by selling all-natural viagra and xanax as your own boss through an online pharmacy.

  3. Joseph Clark
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:00 | #3

    Yeah.

  4. jquiggin
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:07 | #4

    Hmm, Ender and Joseph got through without moderation, and Andrew is obviously overqualified. Not sure if this is working, but I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  5. June 8th, 2006 at 16:11 | #5

    Do I get through? Perhaps Andrew can sell me some of his wares.

  6. June 8th, 2006 at 16:24 | #6

    Hi John.
    try using the Aksimet plugin http://akismet.com/ it does a pretty good job

    regards
    Ian

  7. June 8th, 2006 at 16:26 | #7

    This is a much better solution than annoying code deciphering thingies, John.

  8. wilful
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:38 | #8

    So is there an economically just and technically feasible solution to uninvited spam?

    As a side comment, it was interesting at the Turin winter olympics, how often our young (canadian) IT whiz medallist was paraded as a high achiever, and how rarely it was pointed out that his wealth and business success was based on spam.

  9. June 8th, 2006 at 16:43 | #9

    wilful,
    Perhaps we should bid on ebay for the right to leave comments here. I would be fascinated to see how much the spammers would pay.

  10. Dogz
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:48 | #10

    I don’t mind the deciphering thingies – provided it is not one that is too difficult even for humans.

  11. gordon
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:48 | #11

    Whatever works

  12. June 8th, 2006 at 16:59 | #12

    I found that the combination of Bad Behavior and Spam Karma stopped spam completely. Moderating all new commenters stops the spam from appearing, but you still have to wade through it all to pick out the people from the spam.

  13. SJ
    June 8th, 2006 at 16:59 | #13

    Hope it works.

  14. cp
    June 8th, 2006 at 17:19 | #14

    Just a test, not that I comment much anyway.

  15. chris shannon
    June 8th, 2006 at 17:40 | #15

    posting and hoping to pass through.

  16. Bill Posters
    June 8th, 2006 at 18:14 | #16

    As a side comment, it was interesting at the Turin winter olympics, how often our young (canadian) IT whiz medallist was paraded as a high achiever, and how rarely it was pointed out that his wealth and business success was based on spam.

    The Fairfax press did do a bit of an expose on him, which was rather not well received by both other sports hacks and the athlete in question.

  17. June 8th, 2006 at 18:51 | #17

    Like Ian, I find the Akismet plugin useful, though it makes more Type I errors than I’d like (on my site, 1/30 of the comments it blocks are geniune).

  18. Nabakov
    June 8th, 2006 at 18:57 | #18
  19. James Farrell
    June 8th, 2006 at 19:13 | #19

    Socialism.

    ***c1al1s** will be first off the moderation list

  20. rog
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:10 | #20

    ***

  21. rog
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:11 | #21

    another good idea thrown into the bin

  22. Geoff Honnor
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:11 | #22

    Nabs, that’s a disgraceful example of pussy abuse – reminiscent of a feline Abu Ghraib….

  23. conrad
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:12 | #23

    damn, that seems to have triggered it.

  24. rog
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:20 | #24

    OI’ll be fick4ed if I can understand what Tim fick4ed Lambert said but Oi fick4ed loike it;

    I found that the combination of Bad Behavior and Spam Karma stopped spam completely. Moderating all new commenters stops the spam from appearing, but you still have to wade through it all to pick out the people from the spam.

    God Bless

  25. rog
    June 8th, 2006 at 20:31 | #25

    well, I not be guilty of Bad Behavior and Spam Karma me lud

    irrespective, how do you find me , me Lud

    Guilty of Bad Behavior or what m’lud

  26. June 8th, 2006 at 21:23 | #26

    I would like to come in.

  27. Seeker
    June 8th, 2006 at 21:48 | #27

    Nice one, Nabs. :-)

  28. doug
    June 8th, 2006 at 21:59 | #28

    I’m another mostly-lurker, but thought I’d check.

  29. June 8th, 2006 at 22:06 | #29

    Down with the Wets.

  30. Mark U
    June 8th, 2006 at 23:39 | #30

    Count me in.

  31. June 9th, 2006 at 00:27 | #31

    Count me in also.

    I am okay if you implement a turing test. However if you do then please make sure it is such that if you get it wrong you don’t lose all the content of the post you are trying to upload.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  32. Ernestine Gross
    June 9th, 2006 at 06:32 | #32

    Count me in too, if it is o.k. that I limit myself to only a few topic.
    Hope the new scheme reduces your work load.

  33. morganzola
    June 9th, 2006 at 07:17 | #33

    Not a very frequent commenter here, but this seems like a good idea.

  34. June 9th, 2006 at 09:55 | #34

    Count me in… I’ve got the “moderate first comment” thing too, it must frustrate first time commenters a bit, but presumably people will come to understand that’s just one of those things.

  35. Tom N.
    June 9th, 2006 at 09:55 | #35

    I’m not a frequent commenter either, although I am an avid reader. Please count me in too.

  36. June 9th, 2006 at 10:55 | #36

    PrQ,
    While we are metablogging, would it be possible for you to set up all links from your articles to open in a new window? It stops the right click -> menu choice run around.

  37. June 9th, 2006 at 11:06 | #37

    Andrew Reynolds,

    I am not sure I like your suggestion. I kind of get sick of having extra windows. When I want another one I generally prefer to open one explicititly by choice.

    Terje.

  38. still working it out
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:19 | #38

    Lets see how I go.

    I too much prefer to have control over when a window pops up.

    Andrew, perhaps you could try holding down the shift key on your keyboard and when you click on the links. In Internet Explorer and Firefox this will open the link up in a new window without needing to right click and choose the item from a menu first. Or if you are using Firefox, you can use the Ctrl key in the same way to open the links up in a new tab.

  39. Stephen L
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:21 | #39

    Let me in, let me in

  40. June 9th, 2006 at 14:58 | #40

    John, you should take a look at Akismet. It’s a really simple plugin that has been very effective at LP — thousands of spam comments caught, with only a very few false positives.

  41. derrida derider
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:22 | #41

    Another post

  42. June 9th, 2006 at 20:03 | #42

    Or if you are using Firefox, you can use the Ctrl key in the same way to open the links up in a new tab.

    I am using IE7.0 Beta 2 and in it CTRL+CLICK also opens to a new tab.

  43. June 10th, 2006 at 13:06 | #43

    I need this service, given my home website. I always end up in moderation.

  44. jquiggin
    June 10th, 2006 at 14:57 | #44

    Hi Nicholas, I’ve trimmed the forbidden word list, so you may escape moderation from now on. I may go to Akismet as well.

  45. Jill Rush
    June 10th, 2006 at 20:47 | #45

    I enjoy the range of topics and the ability to post from time to time – if only to give a differnt slant.

    I will continue to post if I am able to.

  46. Iain
    June 10th, 2006 at 21:49 | #46

    DEAR SIR / MADAM,

    THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE. I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION, WHICH INVOLVES THE TRANSFER OF A HUGE SUM OF MONEY TO AN ACCOUNT REQUIRING MAXIMUM CONFIDENCE.

    I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ.

    OUR DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUES IN THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION INCLUDE THE SITTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RICHARD CHENEY, WHO IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE IRAQ VENTURE AND FORMER HEAD OF THE HALLIBURTON OIL COMPANY, AND CONDOLEEZA RICE, WHOSE PROFESSIONAL DEDICATION TO THE VENTURE WAS DEMONSTRATED IN THE NAMING OF A CHEVRON OIL TANKER AFTER HER.

    I WOULD BESEECH YOU TO TRANSFER A SUM EQUALING TEN TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (10-25 %) OF YOUR YEARLY INCOME TO OUR ACCOUNT TO AID IN THIS IMPORTANT VENTURE.

    I PRAY THAT YOU UNDERSTAND OUR PLIGHT. MY FAMILY AND OUR COLLEAGUES WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. PLEASE REPLY IN STRICT CONFIDENCE TO THE CONTACT NUMBERS BELOW.

    SINCERELY WITH WARM REGARDS,

    GEORGE WALKER BUSH

  47. June 11th, 2006 at 17:57 | #47

    Mostly a lurker, but count me in anyway.

  48. June 16th, 2006 at 17:06 | #48

    Another lurker who’d like in. :-)

    I had to implement such measures, I just got sick of deleting 30-40 “pmrahcay” adverts daily.

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