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Are You Singing The Comment Moderation Blues?

Comment, trackback, and referrer spam aimed at bloggers is at epidemic proportions. Spam of any nature is a huge headache and is more importantly a waste of bandwidth and time. Blog comment and trackback spam is so much more personal then email spam. If I receive Email spam no one else sees it and Thunderbird catches 99% of it anyway. But comment and trackback spam is a defacing of my cyber-home. It’s analogous to tagging graffiti on the side of my business or home.

So we put protective barriers up around our cyber-homes or businesses to keep out the trouble makers. The problem with these protective barriers is that often they either prevent legitimate visitors from getting in or they place stumbling blocks in front of our doors, making it difficult for our friends to get through.

Binary Bonsai wants to use big swear words, throw things and scream at the top of his lungs because he’s tired of encountering these stumbling blocks. Users of Spam Karma are seeing legitimate comments getting deleted, and visitors are getting upset at wasting time writing comments and never seeing them appear. The Google rel=”nofollow” tag attribute doesn’t seem to of deterred spammers. Binary Bonsai has a possible answer and Tom Raftery has one too. The WordPress Codex has a comprehensive article on combatting comment spam using WordPress and Podz has a similar article but goes into more detail using the different spam protection techniques.

I use Tom’s approach but Binary Bonsai’s method looks much simpler to implement. If you would prefer to use a spam plugin or tool here’s a comprehensive list of comment spam, captcha, trackback spam, and referrer spam Plugins.

Spam is not going anywhere and neither are bloggers so the fight continues. You and I as bloggers need to determine how best to provide a satisfactory user experience while safeguarding our cyber-homes and businesses.

Categories: Blogging Sense

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  1. Terrance says: 4/8/2005

    Am I missing something? Since upgrading to WordPress 1.5, I’ve been singingn it’s praises when it comes to dealing with spam. Right now, anything that looks like spam (or from a new commenter) gets routed to my moderatin queue. I check it a few times a day, and can usually manage everything (even if I have 100 or more spam comments in moderation) in two clicks or three clicks. No need for a plugin, and I’m not even using the blacklist feature. I get emails about every comment, and I haven’t seen any spam get through.

    So am I just lucky, or am I missing something.

  2. MacManX says: 4/8/2005

    The latest version of Spam Karma (v1.20) places “deleted” comments in the database marked as [spam]. Any responsible SK user should run this version, keep an eye on their SK logs, and use Spam Nuker to recover any false positives.

  3. Brandon Martus says: 4/8/2005

    I love lr2spam.

  4. Ozh says: 4/8/2005

    FYI, I wrote something similar to what Binary Bonsai is talking about, but much more flexible and configurable :

  5. John says: 4/8/2005

    Terrance, yes WP 1.5 does a great job at protecting from comment spam. I’m not sure about trackback spam. If you don’t mind having to moderate comments then you may not need any other spam protection.

  6. Terrance says: 4/8/2005

    Ah. Moderation is something I don’t mind. So I’m OK. WordPress treats trackbacks like comments, so my experience is that they get filtered and moderated by WordPress’ spam protection just like comments .

  7. Ronald says: 4/8/2005

    I love the plugin from Ozh, now I only want a plugin that deletes comments that are waiting for moderation, say if they are not moderated in 5 days they are automaticaly marked as spam.

  8. Thomas Cloer says: 4/8/2005

    I’m running Referrer Karma and Spam Karma 2 on my site and have almost no problems. Especially Referrer Karma reduced the amount of spam on my site drastically. I highly recommend both tools.

  9. Tom Raftery says: 4/14/2005

    Thanks for the plug John.

    As an update to my post on how to stop comment spam without comment spam plugins; since I rolled out that methodology, 1 comment spam (and 3 trackback spams) made it through my defences to my moderation queue – none were published. Previously I was receiving dozens of spams per night.

    Warm regards,