Doctor Who Blog

The War Against Comment Spam

Our site has been targetted by spammers in our comments section for the past several months. In the past, we could rely on captchas to aid us, but lately they’ve been using humans to add content so it’s been impossible to fight (welcome to the world of globalization, where people make meagre money by adding SEO value to other sites). ExpressionEngine’s free service doesn’t have a great blacklist, which doesn’t help.

So we’ve had to go a little bit hardcore. Starting now no one can add urls to their comments. If you link to a site in your comment, you won’t be able to post your comment.

I know this is not ideal for a blog. We want to be able to link to stuff in our comments the same way we link to things in the blog. We’re hoping this can be a temporary measure until we can either a) come up with a better workaround or b) raise the funds to buy the licensed version of ExpressionEngine which presumably has a better blacklist (It’s $150. Feel free to send the funds to DWIN’s paypal account).

We apologize for the inconvenience but hopefully we can enjoy our postings in peace and quiet.


Option three (maybe) - if you have the choice with this site’s setup, have comments require approval before appearing. They won’t show up immediately, but I had to do that with my blog for the same reason, and I simply get an email when a comment needs to be approved.

Posted by Koshka  on  12/04  at  06:33 PM

Unfortunately, while that option deals with the actual spam from getting on the site, the actual bloggers are still inundated with notification e-mails from spammers now waiting for validation. So, not really an option I’m afraid. We could turn off the notification e-mails but then I don’t think anyone would ever see a comment out of moderation: it’s a blog not run by the most technical of people.

Posted by Graeme  on  12/05  at  01:04 AM

Some sites are now requiring registration and often memberships in things like Facebook in order to allow comments, which I hate and it’s made me abandon a number of sites. In case anyone thinks it actually helps, it doesn’t. A certain newspaper site in Calgary is plagued with comment spam, even though it requires registration. It’s actually kind of sad that there are people who spend all their time doing nothing put cut-and-pasting nonsense into comment fields. What’s even sadder is they wouldn’t be doing it if there weren’t gullible people falling for them. I’d like to think Doctor Who fans are of a smarter breed!

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