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How do I stop comment spam in my blog?

How do I stop comment spam in my blog?

I almost titled this entry “What does a porn site have to do with
Ask Leo!” because I was getting regular comments that
were nothing more than attempts to post a link to porn sites. Naturally I
removed them as soon as I was notified about each but that’s
time consuming and annoying. It was easy to see that the comment spam was
machine-generated because the posts were extremely similar right down to
bad grammar and misspellings.

I had one technique in place for some time but it was still allowing
this class of spam to get through. Time to break out some bigger guns.

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For the record, Ask Leo! is powered by Movable Type so the techniques I’m outlining here are
specific to that.

My first attempt some months ago was simply to rename the comment
addition script from the default name used by Movable Type. That actually
worked very well until just recently. I had been getting several
bogus comment posts per day and they simply went way for some time.

Recently though, I started getting more porn posts and decided to go
for a solution I had seen on several of my friends blogs: the use of a
Captcha Turing Test. You’ve probably seen them, you’re presented
with a graphic that contains a somewhat obscured number or word and you
are asked to re-type what you see. This is intended to “prove”
that you’re a real person and not a computer because presumably a
computer running an automated spam-bot could not read the text in the
graphic.

James Seng has in fact created a Captcha Turning
Test for Movable Type
called SCode. Installation proved to be a
bit of work so it’s possible that this is not for the weak of heart.
In my case I needed to upgrade a graphics library on my server which
involved downloading, rebuilding and installing that library, and then
rebuilding SCode and installing that. Then when all that seems to be done
all of the comment templates needed to be altered to include the actual
test presented to commenters.

It was a bit of work but it appears to be working. I’ll still
delete inappropriate posts but at least number of those should decrease
dramatically.

If this solution seems a bit daunting for you then perhaps a visit to
blogspam.org is in order. They have a number of
solutions for preventing spam on Movable Type and other content management
systems.

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10 comments on “How do I stop comment spam in my blog?”

  1. You website rates high in Google! There are other sites that answer questions and allow anyone to post responses, but why do you think your site is ranked so high?

    I think it’s because of your use of standard HTML pages so Google can index your pages easily.

    Does Movable Type export HTML files or generate them dynamically? Thank you!

    Reply
  2. I think it’s because I’ve paid some attention to some simple things, and haven’t tried to “game the system”. Yes, MT allows a lot of control over the HTML it generates, and I did invest some time there.

    Reply
  3. I use Textpattern for my site, http://www.frontstretch.com and haven’t had the problem of comment spam yet. I’ve seen a couple of casino sites show up, but the software automatically hides it because it recognizes it as spam. Also, since it’s not as widely used as MT or Joomla, it isn’t a target for spammers as often I’ve been told. That, and it’s multiauthor support, were the main reason I chose to use Textpattern.

    Another trick is to cut off commenting after two weeks. Many of the spammers don’t care if humans see the links really, only if search robots do.

    Reply
  4. Spammers never cease to amaze me. I’ve been on the net a long time and have become pretty much immune to all kinds of advertisments.

    Don’t these spammers who create the bots realize that:

    A) 90% of blogs aren’t high traffic

    and

    B) Anyone with half a brain in their head knows its spam just by looking at the URL

    I think the main thing that pisses me off with blog spam is the fact that many blogs are people’s personal websites (like mine) on which we don’t display ads because we choose to just have the “meat and potatos” on our pages. Then some idiot comes along and wants to put their adverts on our site for free.

    Anyhow I’ve been using WordPress for many of my websites for a while now. I believe WP and MT and made by the same company.. Anyhow WP has a neat plugin called Ankiset (sp?) anti-spam which works very well. Maybe MT has something similar.

    Reply
  5. Many of the spammers aren’t interested in getting people off your site and onto theirs. What they’re actually trying to do is increase their sites ranking in search engines (like Google) which rank on number of incoming links from other sites.

    Reply
  6. I stopped all my comment spam for my WordPress blog by using “Comment Bot Nuker”. All the other plugins I tried for WordPress only holds the comment spam from moderation. I tried them all even the “add math” and Askimet. Most all the comment spam you will get is actually from the bots that scour the Internet looking for security breaches. Using Comment Bot Nuker it nukes the comments before it is even held for moeration and lets the good comments through. So there is nothing to moderate. I don’t have to go through hundreds of comments held for moderation anymore. I foudn it here:
    http://videomarketingtactics.com/vmt/stop-wordpress-spam

    Reply
  7. Well, if you use wordpress the best thing you can do is to install a plugin that stops spam. Well, it is called Akismet and you can find him among wordpress files, but after installation you have to activate it. For more info on this you can check http://www.flamescorpion.com

    Reply

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