I have no idea why, but in the last 2 days my blog has been besieged by a ton of comment spams that I suspect are from a robot program– the name of each comment spam message poster has been “Hi There.” I have been looking at a bunch of Captcha plug-ins for WordPress, as well as other spam-fighting plug-ins. After trying several, I’ve settled on adding Math Comment Spam Protection. This joins Akismet and Spam Karma 2 as my blog spam fighting tools. I’ve debated whether or not to post this information, since someone could theoretically be targeting my blog specifically and use this information to get spam comments through– but I kind of doubt my blog is a specific target– I think this “attention” is an automatic result of higher Google page ranks for some of my posts. That’s all speculation on my part, however.

I’ve wanted to avoid “captcha” requirements on my blog, since the words can sometimes be hard to read and be a pain for people– but it seems some sort of turing test (like the basic math problem provided by the “Math Comment Spam Protection” plug-in) is needed to stop this automated comment spam madness. I am glad I’ve been monitoring comments the last couple of days– if I was disconnected from the technology and on vacation (yes I know I’m in Hawaii, but I really have been working) it is a bit scary to think what could have happened. Like outsourcing, in cases like this I see the benefit of using a commercial blogging tool like Blogger (even if it is provided for free, it seems “commercial” compared to WordPress.) The captcha features that can be enabled on Blogger haven’t seemed too cumbersome, and they do seem effective at preventing the comment spam.

I sure wish the people who are generating the computer programs that create all this comment spam and these headaches would find a more constructive way to spend their time. If you have feedback on this new “math problem” commenting requirement, please let me know. I want commenting to be as open and easy as possible on my website, but I also don’t want any type of commenting spam to get through. I am guessing that as some of my blog posts have been assigned higher page ranks by Google, the attention the pages draw from blog comment spammers has increased. 🙁

P.S. – It appears the problem I’m having is with “TB” – trackback spam. I followed these instructions on the WordPress forum and executed a MySQL query using PHPMyAdmin for the first time tonight– turning off all pingbacks for all the posts on my blog. So now we’ll see if this makes a difference.

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3 Responses to New spamfighting method

  1. I was at the Web 2.0 Summit (web2con.com) this past week, and a leader of WordPress was one of the featured speakers. He made the really surprising statement that in just the past 3 weeks the number of spam comments posted on WordPress blogs has doubled!

    I then saw an article on a technology email list I subscribe to, titled something like “The spammers strike back.”

    I don’t know what’s happened, but it looks like the algorithms our protectors have employed have been outfoxed (at least temporarily) by spammers.

  2. Someone else below asked this already.
    I am getting nailed with Spam in my website for our blog website. Is there anyway to stop this? If not, there really isn’t any point in leaving it up and active. Any help will be greatly appreciated. http://www.profesjonalna-reklama.pl

    Thanks Keep up the good work. Greetings from Poland

  3. […] This is certainly NOT something I think minors should be using and putting on their personal MySpace or other webspaces, but as an adult and a professional I think this will be interesting to try. In the late 1990s when I was teaching elementary school in Lubbock, Texas, we experimented a bit with ICQ as an instant messaging client for communications between teachers in the building– and the experiment was a failure because of unsolicited spam messages that were sent to different teachers by others outside the building. Since then I’ve been quite wary of sharing any of my instant messaging addresses publicly, and haven’t experimented to see if things are different as far as spam IM goes. My experiences with blog spam as well as email spam have been (of course) very negative, but I’m cautiously hopeful that adding this Skype button to my contact page will prove helpful rather than distracting and negative. […]

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