Friday, November 10, 2006

Technical Question: Spam comments

Here's a question for the blog-tech savvy: is there any way to stop spam comments in Blogger? I added a "captcha" check to the comment box some weeks ago, but it doesn't seem to have slowed down the spammers at all. Are other people dealing with the same spammers I've been afflicted by?

After two and a half years I'm finally thinking of switching to a different blog service. These days I only have maybe 2 solid hours a week to sit at my blog, and I'd prefer to use that time actually writing!


Ruchira Paul said...

I am not tech savvy at all. But let me just tell you what Type Pad offers.

You can set up your account to moderate trackbacks which appear only if you approve. The comments on the other hand, are a bit more pesky. I get spam comments from time to time. There is no realistic way to "prevent" them from appearing the first time but IP addresses can be blocked after you have tagged them as spam or obscene. If the spammer changes address then you have to go in ban it again. Typepad also allows you to moderate comments just like trackbacks which is a bit of a problem for both the author and the readers. It adds an extra step of time spent for scrutiny (and censorship)for the author and readers probably like to see their comments appear instantly.

"Confused," who uses Word Press, told me that Word Press does not allow IP banning but once a comment is trashed as "Delete as Junk or Spam", that address is recognized as a spam generator in the future. I can't vouch for Word Press.

10:19 AM  
Dev Kumar said...

I thought word verification does the job Amardeep. Ever since I have started using it I have not had the problem of spam comments.

10:48 AM  
Amardeep said...

Ruchira, thanks for the description of Moveable Type/Typepad. The IP banning would be very helpful, I think.

Dev, I've had the word verification feature on for three or four months. But over the past few weeks I've started getting 20-30 spam comments every other night. They're actually mostly from variants of the same company. I did a DNS search on the company, to try and find some information on where they're based, but didn't come up with much. (Their website seems to imply they're based in Australia)

In Blogger it is actually a pain to delete comments. In MT at least you can check off a list and delete a bunch of comments at once. Currently I have to delete comments one at a time.

I've already put in a temporary fix -- comment moderation.

10:57 AM  
Ganesh said...

This is definitely one o fthe limitations of Blogger, that comments can only be deleted individually instead of as a batch. that's amazing that they're able to get around word verification. Like Dev, ever since I started using it, I haven't received one spam comment. Have you contacted Blogger with the IP Address to let them know that someone is bypassing their security measure?

11:08 AM  
ana beynaam said...

I've been thinking about switching to a different blog service as well, and Typepad looks more and more inviting to me, but I have to decide whether I want to pay for it or not. I've been getting quite a bit of spam lately meself, which is rather annoying, especially since I've had WV on for quite a while now. Akh. . .

12:00 PM  
Shripriya said...

Go with WordPress. It is free, you can host it on your own site and it has quite a few add-ons. The spam blocker, Akismet, is excellent.

1:05 PM  
Madhat said...

it is definitely weird that you are getting spams despite the word verification. it could mean one of two things, either someone (a human being or human beings) is targetting your website or the spammer is using some techniques to get the word in image (maybe using unsuspecting human beings). Either way, it would be hard to really to stop them. One thing that could help is banning IPs (no gurantees because there are ways to get around that too), which blogger does not provide yet but I think it will come out soon in the beta. So, I guess, you could wait or move. But if your site is being targetted, there is no gurantee that the spams would stop...

2:24 PM  
Ruchira Paul said...

You can delete a whole block of comments and trackbacks at once by highlighting them on Type Pad. Comment moderation is also available.

2:26 PM  
Vulturo said...

Hi Amardeep,

I'd suggest you move to Wordpress. It affords excellent spam protection and much more control over your blog than Blogger or Typepad could ever provide. I'd be more than happy to provide you any assistance, if you need, free of charge, of course. Feel free to give me a shout.

2:42 AM  
zigzackly said...

In Blogger it is actually a pain to delete comments. In MT at least you can check off a list and delete a bunch of comments at once. Currently I have to delete comments one at a time.

Actually, no. Under "Posting," between "Edit posts" and "Status," you should see a "Moderate Comments" button. You could let the comments queue up for moderation for a bit, then hit that link and "Select All" and delete the lot.

6:05 PM  
Jonathan said...

I notice you're allowing anonymous comments. You can set it to not accept those. Of course that has the disadvantage of not allowing non-blogspot bloggers to comment...

9:56 PM  
Ravneet said...

I can vouch for WordPress. The anit-spam plugin (Akismet) works wonders.

4:05 PM  

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