October 02, 2004

Spambot Solution???

Bill Whittle wants to know what to do about all the spam that's infesting his comments threads. His friend Great Hairy Silverback (GHS) is busy deleting 700+ spam messages per diem.

I had an idea about setting a Password to get in without requiring registration. I could work like this:

GHS shows up and clicks on Comment. He sees a window that says
"In order to read and/or leavce a comment, Ye must give the secret Password. The secret Password is EJECT. But, don't tell anyone, m'kay?"
GHS types in the word eject and gets into the Comments.

While any breathing person will be able to get in, the spambots will be thwarted.


Of course, I have no farkin' idea HOW to set that up, but I'd like to know how so's I can do that on my own blog if some day I start getting Helen-sized spam dumps in my Comments. Is it even possible? Anybody? Beuller?

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 2, 2004 10:04 PM

The best and easiest thing to do is to close the comments on old posts... there is a plugin thingy that will work, but we will all have to agree on how old the post is before we close it down... Pixy just has to say the word and I'll find it again and send him the URL for it.....

Posted by Madfish Willie at October 2, 2004 10:58 PM

A lot of reaqders won't go through the extra step to leave a comment... some people REALLY dislike having to go through the security protection schemes... just some feedback for you.

Posted by Madfish Willie at October 2, 2004 10:59 PM

Yeah, and I wouldn't want to havce an extra step on any recent posts. But since there's a plugin that can automatically close comments on old posts, could a plugin add that Password step only on old posts?

I still get comments on old posts that people reach through searches. One in particular, called "Al Franken Fracas" that I wrote over a year ago, gets a new comment every six weeks or so. I'd hate to shut down old comments threads altogether, but I also don't want a Password step on posts from the last month or so.

So I think a Password -- supplied to the readers on the spot -- is a good way to solve the spam dump problem.

It doesn't even havce to be a password. It could simply be:

So, ya wanna enter this comments thread?
O Yes
O No

Click on Yes and yer in, and the spambots are headed off at the pass!

Now, how do I get that plugin...?

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 2, 2004 11:37 PM

Spork... ALL plugins have to be installed by Pixy into MT's root folder and settings files... you could check on the MT Support Forum to see if there are any other users out there that have the same question... or you could post your own question and wait for one of the Jr Rocket Scientists to help you out...

Posted by Madfish Willie at October 3, 2004 12:18 AM

The other problem is that spambots may well learn this and start auto entering the password. EE uses something called captchas - a code in an image that spambots can't read - but even that is a pain in the ass. Ideally you need something simple and spambot proof... site registration is one way to go but the auto sign in must work seamlessly or people start to get p'd off

Posted by Rob at October 3, 2004 12:38 AM

but I don't think that spammers are THAT eager to spam a particul;ar site that they'd go to the trouble of entering a unique password. If they were then they could also bypass the registration step -- just register, then freely spam. They're just not that interested in particular blogs.

Of course, if a password/yes-no perquisite begins to dominiate the blogosphere, the spambots would definately focus on getting past it on the busiest blogs.
But the rest of us -- and our password/yes-no firewall, would make them ignore us lowlier bloggers, I'd think.

I'll bet my plan could solve the problem of the spamolanche for at least six months.

Then we'll need to think of something else... like sending a disabling virus back to 'em through their IP #.#.#, somehow.


Posted by Tuning Spork at October 3, 2004 01:26 AM

MW--the blogger Sporky's talking about isn't a Munuvian.

Posted by Jennifer at October 3, 2004 09:05 AM

I understand that. I answered it was "my opinion", that the best thing to do would be to close the old comments via an available plugin, which would have to be installed by Pixy (if we could all agree what the cutoff date was)... since you brought it up, I think that maybe the thing to do is to e-mail Bill Whittle and ask him if he would help you out with the code... it's always worked for me... when I've asked another blogger for assistance, they have all been more than happy to do what they can for someone in the community.

Posted by Madfish Willie at October 3, 2004 08:12 PM

Sorry... I'm retarded today... can't comprehend reading and writing...

The plugin requires installation into the root folder of MT and knowledge of where other files are located to set-up... so anyone who has a single blog installation would be able to perform the set up themselves.

Posted by Madfish Willie at October 3, 2004 08:20 PM
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