Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Comment spam

I have a small dilemma, about leaving comments. It's great to receive comments, it was one of the most exciting things about this blog when the first person I didn't know left a comment. The trouble is that two of the blogs that I regularly read have been targetted by spammers, who essentially post a comment on each one of the blog posts. In my case that would be about 230 comments. If it happened, I could either leave them there, or delete each comment individually, which would take about half a minute each. Quite a job. The comments aren't offensive to an English reader, they're in Chinese. I don't know if they'd be offensive to Chinese readers, and I doubt that I have any Chinese readers anyway.

To prevent this I have a couple of choices: I can enable word verification, which I really don't want to do, given that it puts an unnecessary hurdle in front of anyone who can't see or read the word, even though there is an 'accessibility' button that reads out a number amid a load of background burble, and isn't too bad. I don't like leaving comments when I have to use word verification, but it's not out of the question. The one reader I know who would find this a nuisance hasn't yet left a comment, but that's not to say he won't, or that others wouldn't.

Another alternative is to restrict comments to 'registered users', which eliminates any anonymous postings. I don't think that would work, because the spam I've seen seems to come from a registered address.

My most likely option is to enable comment moderation, which means the comments you leave (those lovely few of you who leave comments) wouldn't appear until I'd approved them, which would mean a delay of up to a day, but probably much less. This is fine while I get less than 10 comments, but when I'm a Blog of Note and find myself receiving hundreds, it won't be so convenient. And pigs will grow wings and take to the skies.

If anyone's got a better idea, I'd love to hear it.


Don't Bug Me! said...

I dislike the word verification - I took it off my blog. But then, I have had no problem with spam as yet. I suspect not enough people read my blog to bother spamming it! Still, I suppose if it did become a problem I would put the word verification back on again, since I really dislike it when my comments "disappear" for hours and I think that the posting didn't work(when in reality it is waiting for moderation, so I post it again and then it comes up twice and I look like an idiot.

aims said...

I've been spammed a few times and just deleted it. It's annoying but then I've had trouble typing in the 'correct' word for verification. Sometimes my fingers and brain just don't do the same thing.

I guess I've gotten used to verification after all this time. I often wonder how people have the time to approve comments when they have that type of verification up.

Don't know the answer girl. Sorry.

Brett said...

I've just got back from holiday and was happy to see i had over 850 comment! after a quick look i found that most of these were from 2 different spamers, both like yours were in Chinese. I dont use the word verification as i hate to have to use it on other blogs. I did report both the spamers blogs and i hope that they are removed. Still it was nice to think i was popular for a few seconds:)

Lola said...

Brett - one of the two spammed blogs was yours, that's what started me on this subject. I got a copy of the spam for each of your posts I'd put a comment on (and asked for subsequent comments to be emailed to me).

For the time being I'm going to leave things as they are, especially as 850 comments doesn't seem to have made you too mad.