Killing spamlike comments

This blog’s dashboard has a line that says this: Akismet has protected your site from 128,720 spam comments already, and there are 4,868 comments in your spam queue right now. I rarely look at the spam queue. The only time I’ve found false positives there are when some of my own comments have gone into the spam queue, because the system flags as spam anything with more than two links in it. Now I know where to look for linky comments that go missing.

Some spams get through, though. They’re easy to spot. Most of them respond to an old post about a topic of interest to the spammer. Let’s say I mentioned fly fishing sometime last year. I’ll get a post by zxzzyks452 at Hotmail or Gmail, and a blog address like flyfishingflyfishing.blogph0rm.com. The entire response will be “I agree. Keep it up!” or something equally innocuous and positive.

The top spams in the queue right now say, “Hehe! Good work!”, “I want to say – thank you for this!”, “Great site. Good info”, “Thank you!”, “Great site. Keep doing.” “Realy, realy nice work! I was impressed! My own are… (bunch of spammy links)”, “Excellent site. It was pleasant to me.”, “Incredible site!”, “Perfect work!”… and so on.

That last one came from a user calling himself or herself “GetXanax” at http://openlibrary.org/, which may not know it’s been hijacked by a spam system.

Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that I delete nearly every comment that responds to an old post with language that looks like the examples two paragraphs up. I don’t think I’ve killed any good ones yet, but every once in awhile I wonder. Wish it were otherwise, but it ain’t. Life in the vast lane, I guess.

8 comments

  1. Mike Warot’s avatar

    I was wondering what the rules were… now I know.

    Is there any way to get a preview, other than composing things elsewhere?

    Or is trackback the best way to go? (Which would require me actually learning what the heck it actually is)

  2. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Can’t do trackback, as Blogger doesn’t support it… oh well.

  3. First Time Buyers’s avatar

    yes usually this comments doest have any sense at all coz its true that they dont even read and dont even understand whats on the posts usually its easy to identifuy this kinds of spam comments coz it is constructed in short words like saples above

  4. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Mike, I’ve never been fond of trackback, for the simple reasons that 1) it’s hard to grok; and 2) spammers love it.

    As for preview, the Harvard system doesn’t support it. I could ask, though. Maybe that feature could be added.

  5. Hanan Cohen’s avatar

    In WP there is a way to automatically block commenting to a post after a certain time. Ask Harvard IT for this feature.

  6. Shawn Powers’s avatar

    I agree! Keep it up!

    ;o)

  7. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Perhaps in the future you’ll be able to hand out one time tokens for a bit of attention… and we can spend them to post comments… and if they are worthy, get more tokens for more attention….

    Just a thought.

  8. Adam Fields’s avatar

    Perhaps the spam filter should just delete any comments under a certain number of words.

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