Comments on: Controlling spam on the blog
REBOL Technologies

Comments on: Controlling spam on the blog

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
7-Aug-2009 21:09 GMT

Article #0417
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When I first started writing web CGI code more than ten years ago, web spam wasn't a problem, but I knew it was just a matter of time before it became a serious problem. This is the problem with any open (non-authenticating) communication system.

For quite a while, I could easily spot spam in the comments and remove it. However, these days the spammers have gotten quite sly, extracting text from other comments and merging their links into it. Such comments no longer look like spam.

I realize that my little captcha method wasn't great to stop all spam, but it did help eliminate the simple spambots. I used this method because I wanted to avoid generating images (for some other reasons.) I suppose I'll need to upgrade to REBOL/command and start generating real captchas images at some point.

Today, I took some time out from 3.0 work to add a new comment review method. When you look at the main page, you will see links that allow you to review comments for the week or for the month. Those pages will also let you mark abuse of comments, and those entries can be reviewed and removed if necessary.

So, give it a try. If it works out, I'll move it to the other blogs.

PS: I'd like to thank Didier Cadieu for his spam reporting over the years. It helped to know where the spam was being posted.



8-Aug-2009 12:24:25
Testing comments... to make sure they still work... that the new code has not gone "too far". -Carl
14-Aug-2009 18:42:52
Perhaps, use a two part captcha? The first could be a drop-down menu with default "I am a bot", requiring user interaction, and the second, a simple non-multiple choice, written response; for example: "Please answer the following: five plus eight equals "________(<--text entry; suggest range of "zero" to "twenty"; also, can substitute operator symbols for their written descriptors, eg "twelve - seven = ").

The current method on this blog, assigning a "Blog id" for response, does seem to provide a pretty decent simple logical sp*m filter. I have seldom seen spam comments in my sporadic visits here.

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