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October 13, 2006

Eternal Spamnation

As an FYI for everyone, the amount of comment spammage this site gets appears to be on the rise over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I catch it before you notice it, sometimes I don't. However, if I don't catch it before you're aware of it, don't feel that you need to alert me about it; I spend a fair portion of the day staring at the site, and I will catch it. If I'm not cleaning it up immediately, it means I'm away from the computer (usually in the form of sleeping, traveling or having a life that doesn't involve sitting and typing), and you sending me an e-mail about it won't make the spam disappear any more quickly. I do appreciate the thought, however.

Also vaguely related: If you've accidentally made a double post in comments, it's not necessary to add a post apologizing for double posting. I usually go through and delete one of the double posts (usually the earlier one), so when I do that I also have to delete the post apologizing for the double post, since the double post no longer exists and therefore the post apologizing for it is just confusing. Basically, you're just making more work for me. Although again I appreciate the impulse to be polite. Thanks.

Since I know someone will ask, adding a post identifying yourself after you've accidentally posted anonymously is just fine.

Posted by john at October 13, 2006 07:16 AM

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Hugh | October 13, 2006 08:07 AM

Just curious, John, how much time per day do estimate that you spend deleting comment spam?

I sense that if it weren't for the damned spammers, you could have finished The Last Colony months ago. ;-)

John Scalzi | October 13, 2006 08:33 AM

Aggregate, it's probably not much. But it feels like a long time daily.

Steve Buchheit | October 13, 2006 09:14 AM

I put the Monty Python SPAM song on the iPod in your honor, John.

datarat | October 13, 2006 09:26 AM

So if I double post a notice about spam I shouldn't post an apology unless it's anonymous? Got it.

Buck | October 13, 2006 10:05 AM

A couple of years ago, I had explained to my preteen nephew how, about 800 years ago, Persian potentates engaged in a kind of architectural arms race of palaces, mosques, etc. To avoid the architect topping his own work, when the project was finished, he was normally offered to have his eyes put out or this thumbs cut off (to be compensated with a group of nubile body servants, of course).

About a year later, I was at my sister's house, and my nephew was complaining about the amount of spam. He looked at me and said, "When they catch spammers, they should give them that same offer- eyes or thumbs. That'd clean things up."

I think that, and exploding an EMP over Lagos, Nigeria, would do wonders for the internet.

Dean | October 13, 2006 10:42 AM

I have been seriously happy with Akismet, which seamlessly, quietly blocks 99.9% of comment spam. It was written for WordPress, but it apparently will work with MT.


dave | October 13, 2006 11:17 AM

I'll second Akismet as well. I get hundreds of spam comments per hour, *all* of which are caught by a combination of Akismet and a small number of manual filters.

I've had one false positive in six months, and a bare handful of spams (really, five or less), which were easily dealt with by adding a simple rule to the default blacklists.

Claude Muncey | October 13, 2006 11:38 AM

Eternal Spamnation -- not bad. But since you are eliminating any record of the spam (and if possible the spammer's) existence, wouldn't spamnatio memoriare be appropriate? Unless that means that all you can remember is spam . . .

Adam Rakunas | October 13, 2006 02:12 PM

Too bad Spam Karma doesn't run on Moveable Type; ever since I installed it, my spam woes have gone by the wayside.

PixelFish | October 13, 2006 09:00 PM

Buck: If I was a Persian architect, I would have represented my architecture skills with a well-paid front man. Or five or six.

Ginny | October 14, 2006 01:35 AM

I don't know if you can use it with your setup (I use Nucleus for my blog) but I've found that YAASP is more effective that Blacklist in catching comment spam--if someone clicks that "post" button too quickly (I think I have mine set up to 3 seconds) the post simply never gets posted. On top of that I use an annoying thing where you have to type in the text of a randomly-generated jpg of letters.

Between the two, I haven't gotten comment spam posted in weeks, but the F'ers do try a few dozen times a day.

Buck | October 14, 2006 11:48 AM

I'm tempted to play with the spammers, however. This spam is almost exclusively to the e-mail address in my Yellow Pages ad.

Most are Nigerian princes/widows/free Bible distributors. I've heard there are folks who play and try and get the scammers to forward 'trust' money to them, before they'll give their bank information.

I got a new twist- a Russian bride scammer. I'm an immigration lawyer, and any time I have a guy telling me he's got a girl in Russia, Ukraine, etc. he met over the internets, I check a black list website.

So, I get unsolicited photos and a letter from a "girl" who saw my posting on a dating site (hunh?). I've been e-mailing this scammer for fun- of course, the photos I received have been used in dozens of scams and are prominent on the black list site.

When asked for a photo of myself so that the "girl" can recognize me at the airport, I sent Nick Nolte's DUI arrest photo! And the e-mails still keep coming. The next one should have the request for 'last minute travelling money.'

Hey, it's cheaper than cable for entertainment.

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