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I am Eric Hameleers, and this is where I think out loud.
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Fighting spam

In an attempt to fight the ever-growing amounts of spam on this blog (nearly hundred a week that I have to manually delete), I have made a change to the comments section.

I already have a conditional CAPTCHA appearing if a comment seems to be a spam message, and Akismet is checking my posts against their spam database, but the spam texts are increasingly “well-written” so that they are harder to distinguish from bona-fide comments. The actual spam URL is mostly no longer in the text body but in the commenter’s address field.

As of now, everyone who does not yet have an approved comment on one of my articles will end up in the moderation queue where I have to approve or reject the comment manually.

That will stop the spam messages from appearing on the blog and RSS feed, and once you have an approved post on my blog, your next posts will not have to be moderated.

My apologies if you want to comment here for the first time and your text does not appear immediately after hitting “Submit”. I think this is the best for the blog as well as its readers!

Eric

Comments

Comment from schmatzler
Posted: September 20, 2014 at 14:16

Maybe you should consider replacing Akismet with Antispambee. I use the latter one on a bunch of blogs and the options for recognizing spam are very efficient.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 20, 2014 at 14:37

Akismet catches 8 to 10 _thousand_ SPAM messages per month that I do not even see. The several hundred per month that I have to delete manually are a small percentage, I do not know if Antispambee will be more effective.

Comment from Eric Smith
Posted: September 21, 2014 at 01:03

Hey, if it helps you with your blog moderation, go all out.
Just to be sure: the previously approved comments were approved by you and not by virtue of commenting before this system?

Comment from Niki Kovacs
Posted: September 21, 2014 at 07:25

DEAR SIR/MADAM:

I AM MR. NIKI KOVACS CURRENTLY SERVING AS THE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE MICROLINUX GROUP INTERNATIONAL IN MONTPEZAT SOUTH FRANCE. I KNOW THIS LETTER MIGHT SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE HAD NO PREVIOUS COMMUNICATIONS OR BUSINESS DEALINGS BEFORE NOW.

MY ASSOCIATES HAVE RECENTLY MADE CLAIM TO SLACKWARE BUILD SCRIPTS WORTH AN ESTIMATED $20 MILLION U.S. DOLLARS. I AM WRITING TO YOU IN CONFIDENCE BECAUSE WE URGENTLY REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE TO OBTAIN THESE FUNDS.

Just kidding, Eric :o)

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 21, 2014 at 10:36

Well, there were 5 messages in my moderation queue since last night, that I could just delete. Previously those posts would have gotten through into the blog articles.

Comment from Eric Smith
Posted: September 21, 2014 at 19:31

okay. so you approved of the previously approved comments and they weren’t automatically approved by the system? the spam accounts that existed before can no longer spam?

Comment from alienbob
Posted: September 21, 2014 at 21:49

The spam messages that came through in the past were not detected as spam by Akismet. I had to remove those manually. Messages considered spam by Akismet are served a CAPTCHA. If the CAPTCHA is answered correctly then the mesage is held for moderation, otherwise it gets deleted without me even seeing it (which is almost 10,000 per month).
BEcause I manually delete all remaining spam, currently there is no spammer with approved messages on this blog.
Therefore, with my new regime, every new spam message which is not detected by Akismet will be helpd for moderation.
Once you have a comment on this blog (because I approved it manually or else because it was never flagged as spam), everything you post afterwards will be accepted automatically.

Comment from Eric Smith
Posted: September 22, 2014 at 04:11

thanks for clearing it up for me.
so, now i can enjoy the comments without wading through the sewage runoff of spam!

Comment from chrisretusn
Posted: September 22, 2014 at 09:08

Never really noticed a lot of spam here, could be that most of my reading is via RSS feed. You have to do what you have to do. It a never ending battle.

Comment from cwizardone
Posted: October 2, 2014 at 14:03

@alienbob,
Many thanks for all your work. Not a single piece of spam has passed through to me since you instituted your new procedures.
Thanks, again.

Comment from alienbob
Posted: October 2, 2014 at 20:56

I deleted almost 60 spam messages that were held in the moderation queue, after I changed my anti-spam policy.
You never got to see those 60 🙂
Mission accomplished.

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