Comment Spam: The New Online Plague

As if e-mail spam wasn’t bad enough, now webloggers (like me) need to be on the lookout for “comment spam” – that is, spammers posting messages or URLs using a weblog’s comment function. This unfortunate development has been covered in recent Wired News article (which Media Blog has strongly criticized).

Comment spam is insidious, and there appears to be no easy way to deal with it. However, the blogging community is working on this one. Stay tuned…

3 thoughts on Comment Spam: The New Online Plague

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  1. How about asking respondents to enter a code (say, two characters) displayed nearby, possibly as a graphic. That would at least beat machine spamming.

  2. i’ve been reading up on comment spam, and it seems there are a variety of ways to address it (you mentioned one such strategy, Ben). Still, it’s a pretty geeky and complicated matter to address it, there’s no quick fix.

    I’d really love to see someone write a “10 things you can do to block comment spam” type of document. It wouldn’t have to be comprehensive, but if it covered the basics (at least for the most common weblog software packages), that would be a huge help.

    If any CONTENTIOUS readers have seen something like this, please let me know.

    – Amy Gahran

  3. The “easy” way to deal with it is to string match against addresses known to be included in spam… but on sites that attract a lot of comments as a matter of course, such a technique would have a mounting resource cost.