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Wonderful Spam

Have any of you ever played online poker? Purchased propecia for a baldy head or cialis to bring life to a flaccid member?

Me bloody either! I wade through 100+ spam comments a day. I don't know if is this is above or below average, but there is nothing more pathetic than humping the chair with joy to see What's New Pussycat New Comment Posted in the mail, only to find it's ol' bob@y639o.com or top@tredgf.com AGAIN, wanting me to play some virtual blackjack.

I'm running MT 2.661 and dutifully erasing the shit with MT Blacklist, but if I fall behind it's a nightmare, there were thousands after three weeks in Russia. Help me, smart computer people. Would it make any difference if I forked out for MT 3.1? Or should the blog pack up sticks, move to Guatemala and start fresh?

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


38 thoughts on “Wonderful Spam

  1. A friend of mine just installed a security feature on his blog, you have to copy a line of text from a little box to prove you’re a real person, not just a spam-bot. I dunno what engine he uses for his blog though. He’s the dude linked from my blog as “Yablog” in case you want to check it out.

  2. WordPress is sickeningly easy to move to as there are upgrade scripts for MT users. Not a nightmare at all, just a few clicks. It’s also top rate at filtering out comment spam.

  3. The latest version of MT Blacklist worked brilliantly for me (only compatable with MT 3.11 ) . It automatically moderates comments posted to old entries (after 14 days I think) so they don’t appear on your site. You can then go into your MT ‘homepage’ and delete them en masse.

  4. I’ve been getting a horrible dose of spam comments lately (especially galling since I haven’t actually posted to the blog for over a month). I’ve responded by banning words like “po ker” and “cia lis” in MT-Blacklist, rather than banning the URLs that contain them. It means that no-one can leave comments including those words (so this comment, for instance, would be banned), but I’m reasoning that it’s a small price to pay. Closing off old comments is the only other solution I’ve thought of, but the scripts to do it automatically seem to mostly require MT3, and it would take me a while to go through and do them all manually.

  5. I too have been hearing plenty from bob @y 6390.com, and having forgotten my blacklist logon stuff, I’ve been manually going through and turning off comments on individual entries. I don’t get nearly as much spam as you do–maybe ten, fifteen a week. So I guess getting spam is like some backhanded compliment. Like, you’re awesome, so we’ll spam the tar out of you!

  6. We use to auto-close entries, where 21 is the number of days. You can set that to whatever you want. We do this on Version 2.63 blogs. You still get the occasional one, but not nearly as bad. It sucks to have to close old comments, but it’s a trade off with the time spent sifting through the junk.

    More info can be found here:
    http://thought-mesh.net/MTCloseComments.html

  7. ExpressionEngine also has the comment encryption option. I don’t know how difficult switching would be, but for that level of spam, it seems a reasonable alternative.

  8. That one where you have to copy the line of text sucks some serious dog balls. Just get a bit smarter with your mt-blacklist regular expressions. Blocking bob @ y saves me about 200 comments a day. Course, upgrading MT and blacklist sounds like a good idea for that auto-moderate feature.

    I heard someone talking somewhere about a comments ‘signup’ kind of deal, where if you want to comment, you ask for a password and anyone who’s not registered doesn’t comment. That sounds neat, but I don’t know what it’s called or if I just made it up.

  9. Is there any system that allows you to automatically accept or reject spam but to share in the profits? Because I might be willing to allow a spammer to advertise Viagra on my blog if I knew the deal was legitimate and that part of the money would go to an account I could use directly or contribute to charity. So someone would have to set up a central database of spammers, etc., and your blog would have to link to the database to check spammer IDs and manage your account. You want to scribble “Coke” on my wall? OK, but I get a payment first, or I get to see that you’ve contributed a certain amount to charity X in my name, and the spam message shows where the money went.

  10. I upgraded with the free version of MT3.11 and it works brillintly. There is still a certain amount of housekeeping to do, deleting unnaproved comments and adding new IP numbers to the ban list but it is NOTHING compared to manually deleting the 100’s of comments I was getting every day. The best thing is that if you don’t do it for a couple of days your visitors still don’t see any of the comments. But now I need to add more users so I will be forking out for the paid version.

  11. Without wanting to tempt fate, I think I’ve had all of 2 pieces of comment spam through HaloScan. But then I doubt my reader figures are anywhere close to yours.

    Price of excellence I’m afraid m’dear!

  12. You could rename the “mt-comments.cgi” file on your server to something else dot cgi… most of these spams will be coming from bots looking around the web for that file. It’ll mean redoing the comments link in your MT templates to reflect the change, but that’s an easier first step than upgrading or moving.

  13. Not that I want to contradict the idea that artificially intelligent spambots are searching the web for entertaining writers. Those people emailing us every day think we’re all great too, on a deeply personal level… 😉

  14. I don’t know how I’ve managed to escape it, because I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary with my WordPress setup*, where others have been plagued by spam. The site’s certainly registered a lot of hits from the bastards, though, so they’ve been trying.

    (Anyway, I’m not going to get all advocatista about WP on you, because whilst the changeover is pretty trivial, making the templates look just the way you want them takes a little more work than with MT.)

    Actually, come to think of it, I do know why – I expired commenting for all posts just after the election because of all the nimrods coming past and making stupid remarks about me being a Red.

  15. HAHAHA – my original comment was banned due to having the “po” “ker” word. But I do actually play that online. How amusing.

  16. DUDES!

    thanks so much for your helpful comments.

    i am far far too lazy and untechy to switch to wordpress and a tad underfinanced to upgrade to MT 3.1 at the moment. but in the meantime i will try the rename thingy.

    monkey’s comment made me realise that i have NO FREAKIN clue what i am doing, i had no idea about the regular expression thingy. so that is a good place to start.

    FRANKS, GUYS!

  17. Oh, I haaaate spam. But if I turn my spam controls off for my email, it doesn’t send me anything, not even emails from my mom’s office reminding me to remind her that she has a hair appointment at 12.

    And, yay!! I am one of your current obsessions. Awwww, I feel loved. And I lurves your blog, too.

  18. Shauny, I was despairing for a bit too (I was running an older version of MT and didn’t have blacklist, so the wombatfile was coated in a thick layer of ooze), but Rory convinced me it was workable to save things without going to extreme updating lengths. And it’s held true: once I tweaked MT Blacklist to zero in on bastardbob@ y1234 and top@ tredwhatever and few other regular customers, the tide turned. The MT Blacklist forums are good places to look for the “expressions” which send bob and his ilk back to the online marketing hell what spawned them.

    So I’m optimistic about the ability of Blacklist to do the job: whenever some new friendly bot with a new URL comes and pees on my site, a click on the de-spam line in the notification puts it on the list, and then a quick run through of MT-Blacklist does the rest.

    And there aren’t many of those — Blacklist is catching most of the incomings now. I can actually let the cleanup take place once every couple of days — and it really is only a couple of minutes work. It’s not perfect, I know, but I think I’d rather that than make people go through the copy-a-word-to-comment thing or register for some kind of of universal comment key, which seems to be what the MT folks are talking about doing with TypeKey.

  19. typepad and the new version of MT have a login system. Maybe that’s what I was thinking.

    Upgrade, and make your bitches foot the bill for the MT upgrade. For too long they have enjoyed free server space, time to pay!

    loves ya, Mrs mb! 😉

  20. monkey, your suggestions seem to be working with the regular expressions thingy, will see how that goes!

    also the bitches have made donations towards the hosting costs so they are definitely more than earning their keep 🙂

  21. It varies (some days around five, other days around 30) but usually it’s about ten spams daily. Of course, I probably only get 15 real hits a day, so once again, price of fame (or lack thereof).

  22. We’re not all useless sponges, Monkey. You have no idea what I have had to do to keep my bitchmaster’s whip off my back. 😉

    I still get comment spam. And my blog is currently offline. ???? I HATE YOU, BOB.

  23. a tad underfinanced to upgrade to MT 3.1 at the moment.

    ?
    Er . . .it’s totally free for personal weblogs.
    Upgrade to MT 3.112, install the new version of Blacklist, moderate comments older than 30 days, and your comment spam will basically be gone.

  24. I loves ya right back, Miss Monkey! And misses you something powerful.

    And SJ! Good to see you’re still kickin.

    I have somehow gone very redneck all of a sudden. Must be all the fanciness from last night.

  25. Have you noticed a ton more of these things just in the last week or so? My MT-Blacklist is moderating them just fine, but where I used to get one every couple of weeks, I’m getting 18-20 per day now!

  26. hi hi, mb, SJ and Master Spratt! Hope all is well.

    Shauners, I just upgraded MT and it’s hot. it turns me on in ways I dare not mention. It’s like Firefox. Sleek, beautiful and does what you tell it. Come to think of it, it’s somewhat like marybeth. The blacklist works just peachy too.

    Upgrade. Oh, upgrade.

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