The scourge of bloggers, comment spam, has been absolutely crushing lately. I get literally thousands of spam comments every day and it’s getting much worse. Luckily, MT Blacklist has made it relatively easy to block spam commentrs after their first strike, but spammers are very creative and aggressive, and they always come up with new URLs, and lately they’ve been demonstrating a scary ability to subvert MT Blacklist.
Blacklist makes it easy to delete the comment from my site, but if I get 600 spam comments, that still means I need to delete 600 email notifications, and that can be an agonizingly slow process, since Yahoo only lets you see 25 comments at a time.
So in my frustration I got a lot more aggressive with my Blacklist entries this weekend, and unfortunately this caused some big headaches. Several people’s comments were deleted, and I’m really sorry about that. It shouldn’t happen again.
You may also find that when you type a comment, Blacklist stops it from going through. It will always show you what you typed that isn’t permitted; please try to work around it — or send me an email and I’ll be sure to fix the problem. (Example: I tried to type the word “socialism” in a comment and it wouldn’t let me because I had added the word “c-i-a-l-i-s” to Blacklist; I since removed it.) If that sort of thing happens, please let me know. Also, you don’t need to add an email address to your comments anymore; if your comment won’t go through, try taking out your email address.
I’m also thinking of installing a “kapcha” device, where you have to type in a specific word that appears, distorted to confuse the bots. I hate to add another step, but if you knew the misery of having to go through literally thousands of spam comment emails every day….
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.