Thursday, July 22, 2010

These Chinese spammers are getting pretty annoying

Lately everything I post collects at least one piece of Chinese comment spam. I've been manually deleting them, but I don't know how much longer I can keep that up. (I'll leave them on this post if they appear to illustrate the problem.) I already have every comment-spam-prevention measure available on Blogger enabled short of shutting down comments altogether. I'm not sure what I'm going to do if the problem persists. Suggestions welcome. Surely I'm not the only one having this problem?

8 comments:

Jared said...

Can you whitelist by email address? (Not sure if Blogger supports it.) Then regular commenters can just post but new commenters would have a delay before the comment appears.

Can you reject comments with external links (unless whitelisted?)

Can you get a better CAPTCHA? or do you suppose the Blogger captures are just farmed out to humans?

Ron said...

> Can you whitelist by email address?

Yes, but I don't really want to do that. A blanket prohibition on comments from new readers is not a good way to build up an audience.

> Can you reject comments with external links (unless whitelisted?)

Not as far as I know. That would be a good feature for blogger to add though.

> Can you get a better CAPTCHA? or do you suppose the Blogger captures are just farmed out to humans?

I have no control over the captcha that blogger uses. I have no idea whether blogger's captchas have been cracked or if the spammers just use cheap labor to crack them.

Interestingly, this particular post hasn't been spammed yet, which is unusual. My last dozen or so posts were all spammed within an hour or two of being posted. Maybe the spammers are paying attention (but I wouldn't bet my life savings on it).

Dennis Gorelik said...

Have you tried pre-moderation?
Outrageous spam would stuck in your gmail spam folder.
Everything else you may manually approve.
At the same time I'd like to confirm, that Blogger team does not do a good job of preventing spam. They could learn from Gmail and do much better.

Ron said...

> Have you tried pre-moderation?

No, I don't want discussions to bog down waiting for me to approve things. I'm not always around.

I do have pre-approval set up for posts older than 30 days to limit the damage somewhat.

It is interesting that this post has not been spammed yet. It has been very consistent for weeks before this.

Ron said...

There we go. All is right with the world.

Curt Sampson said...

Yeah, Blogspot needs to do something about this. I ended up with about 40 spam comments posted over the course of a couple of days last week. I enabled moderating comments on posts over 7 days old, and then problem appears to be gone, but then again, I've not posted in the last week either.

Part of the issue is using someone else's site to blog: you don't have the ability to customize the site to protect against bots. (Though if they're using cheap labour, that might not help much.)

Baysean analysis on comments would be excellent to have, moderating only the ones that look like spam. They'd be pretty easy to detect, at least the ones I've seen here. (The ones that mention your topic and say "great post," whilst linking the poster name to a commercial web site, would be more difficult to deal with.)

Comment spam is start to cause serious harm at the other end, too. I've had two posts totally rejected from the Freedom to Tinker blog in the last couple of weeks because the system claimed that they were spam and refused to accept them. If that happens one or two more times, I'll simply stop commenting there.

Ron said...

> Part of the issue is using someone else's site to blog

Yeah, but when I started Rondam Ramblings back in 2003 it seemed like the right thing to do.

Just being able to filter comments that aren't in English would be a big help.

Curt Sampson said...

"...but when I started Rondam Ramblings back in 2003 it seemed like the right thing to do."

Oh, I'm not questioning that decision. Even after I wrote my own blog software (which I still use for my technical blogs) I started my personal blog on Blogger for various reasons.

I was just pointing out a cost of this choice, not saying it's an unreasonable cost to pay in many situations.