May 31, 2004

Ew! Spam!

As you've probably noticed, we've been deluged with spam this weekend. I had about two hundred comments linking to loathesome sites before I waded my way to MT Blacklist and banned them. MT Blacklist blocked a couple of hundred, too. The ones that got through were from three new sites we didn't have blacklisted.

I cleared them out of everyone's blogs but unfortunately I can't retrieve the emails, so your inboxes will be clogged with notifications. Yuck.

I'm considering implementing one of those type-this-number-into-a-box Turing tests. The main argument against it (aside from whether or not it would be easy for spammers to ignore) is accessibility.

I don't know whether anyone reads stonesoup with a speaking browser, say, or via any other method that would trip over a What's-in-this-image? test. If so, I'd be interested to know it (via comments or email) if you don't mind saying.

What do the rest of y'all think?

Posted by iona at May 31, 2004 11:00 AM

a friend of mine reccomended this site when i told her of our woes

Posted by: sue at May 31, 2004 09:27 PM

Thanks for the link, Sue. So, from that, here are some options that would affect how our blogs work:

1. Don't use popup comments.
2. Close comments on old posts (automated for a defined number of days -- possibly problematic for stonesoupers who don't update very often).
3. Force "preview" before allowing comment submissions.


Plus I can, with a little help from my friends, amend the name of our mt-comments.cgi script with no detrimental effect (unless I break something).

Posted by: iona at May 31, 2004 11:12 PM

I'm in favour of the Turing Test; it sounds like the least complicated solution to me.

Posted by: suraya at June 1, 2004 09:44 AM

If anyone wants the comments closed on all the old entries on their blogs, drop me an email and I shall make it so. (Specify number of days old, eg, all comments older than 5 days.)

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 03:12 PM

Turing tests all good. I hate that spam!

Posted by: Jenni at June 2, 2004 03:13 PM

Yes, except Turing Test requires me to install it with skill, grace and not breaking anything. Harder than it sounds. :)

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 03:21 PM

Re: closing the comments on old there a quick and easy way to do this, or do you have to go through each entry and do it one by one?

Posted by: jenni at June 2, 2004 04:08 PM

eeek, more spamage today :/
i'd offer my services to help but lack decent skills but i do know of bribeable people who can help if need be.
in my case it's not what you know , but who you know

Posted by: sue at June 2, 2004 04:16 PM

Jenni, with my god-like powers I can do whole swathes at a time.

Thanks, Sue. At this stage I'm still trying to work out our best options...

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 04:18 PM

Iona, please use your Net Goddess Wicca Mojo to shut down old entry comments on my blog...just leave the new ones and the "Fruits Basket Quiz" entry commentable, please!

Thanks Net Goddess!

Posted by: Jenni at June 2, 2004 04:24 PM

I will grant your wish, puny mortal. How many days back d'you wanna start? ;-)

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 04:31 PM

PS. Friday theme? *blink, blink*

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 04:32 PM

I havn't been getting spam but in a prevention-is-better approach can you sign me up for no comments on old posts (7 days please)? I'm all for a turing style test and/or any combination of anti spam measures you can muster! Cheers!

Posted by: chuck at June 2, 2004 06:00 PM

Done. I'm not yet sure how dynamic the process is. It might need continual tending. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. :)

Posted by: iona at June 2, 2004 10:23 PM