Jeremy Stein - Journal

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Comment Spam

I’ve been waiting for this day. I’ve read about comment spam. I see the features in WordPress to help deal with comment spam, but I didn’t enable any of them. Before today, I hadn’t been hit with any.

In case you didn’t know, comment spam is when a program automatically posts comments (of somewhat random text) to various web logs just so that the comment entries will link back to their site. Google believes that sites with many links to them are important and will rate them higher, particularly if you’re searching on the same text someone used to link to the site. So, these programs (called spambots) will post dozens of random quotations as comments on web logs with the name of “free online gambling” and their url. This way, your web log will have links like free online gambling, boosting their Google pagerank. (Except that I changed that url, just out of spite.)

I enjoyed this opportunity to implement the Jeremy Comment Spam Filtering TechniqueTM. The problem with wide-spread spam filtering techniques is that spammers know about them and work around them. The best spam filters are the ones that the spammers don’t know about — the ones without wide distribution. Thus, I believe that my home-grown, implemented-in-60-seconds spam-filter will be superior to anything that WordPress can come up with, simply because it’s not good enough for everyone else to use. Ironic, no?

And, if you’d like to comment on this post, you can see what I came up with!

October 24, 2004 11 Comments.

11 Comments

  1. mom replied:

    I don’t get it :(

    October 24th, 2004 at 5:59 pm. Permalink.

  2. Tara replied:

    Roses are red, violets are blue, buying flow’rs is good for you.

    October 24th, 2004 at 7:43 pm. Permalink.

  3. Tara replied:

    April showers will bring May flowers.

    October 24th, 2004 at 7:44 pm. Permalink.

  4. Tara replied:

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    October 24th, 2004 at 7:44 pm. Permalink.

  5. Jeremy replied:

    Mom, Tara’s subtle hints in the above 3 comments are sort of like comment spam. I guess she’s hoping to change the Google search results for the next time I search for “Tara”.

    To help you understand comment spam, I’ll post an example as the next comment. If Focus on the Family were trying to help make themselves the #1 Google result for searches on “family values”, they might hire evil programmers to automatically post comments like the following:

    October 24th, 2004 at 8:52 pm. Permalink.

  6. Family Values replied:

    Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.

    October 24th, 2004 at 8:55 pm. Permalink.

  7. Shannon replied:

    While there are many individuals in the world with whom you could live, is there only one specific person you can’t live without?
    Actually, I’m only commenting to prove to myself that I’m NOT a spambot…

    October 25th, 2004 at 8:58 pm. Permalink.

  8. Bob Aman replied:

    I do like Jeremy’s anti spam technique. My own technique is to not run a default install of the blogging tool I use. It’s been altered enough that comment spam would have to be tailored to spam only my site.

    For an excellent example of the power of links on Google, see here. Basically, a lot of people put links on their websites link this one: Miserable Failure

    Yay for evil programmers. Muahahaha.

    October 26th, 2004 at 10:10 am. Permalink.

  9. Shannon replied:

    I like the way the error message reads when I fail to prove I’m not a spambot.

    October 29th, 2004 at 6:30 pm. Permalink.

  10. Bob Aman replied:

    What about extremely large values of 2?

    November 19th, 2004 at 1:53 pm. Permalink.

  11. Jeremy replied:

    Note: I lost my comment spam protection when I upgraded, but I have since restored it with WP-Gatekeeper.

    I apologize to comment-rss subscribers.

    May 18th, 2007 at 9:53 am. Permalink.

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