It was inevitable…blogspam

I finally finish building my spam filtering solution last night, including a custom spam browser, and this morning there are three new comments on my weblog from spammers of various sorts. It’s the problem of having a popular software package: movable type is tremendously popular in the blogging world (and with good reason, it’s a terrific software package) but that makes it easy for people to write tools that look for, for example, mt-comment.cgi, the default application included with Movable Type for adding comments. Identify that and there’s no reason you can’t inject comments into a weblog without actually participating in the community itself.


There are various people in the weblog community who are trying to address this issue and I have at least implemented one change that makes it a lot easier and faster to delete these inappropriate postings when I see them. But spam tends to be a snowball rolling down a hill. Once one person figures it out, they tell ten people, who tell fifty, who then drown you in senseless and useless additions to your blog.

Blech.

So do your bit: add useful, thoughtful, and relevant comments to a weblog you read every day, so that we can at least cast a shining light in the growing darkness of yet another online medium polluted by crass and selfish marketing dweebs (to put it politely).

Oh, and don’t be surprised if there are subtle changes on my site as I explore various ways to address this issue myself.

8 comments on “It was inevitable…blogspam

  1. – You could get rid of the comment box, but keep the URL box. This way, we have to put our comments on our site, and link to it. Spammers would most likely have randomized URLs, until they start using your MicroURL service to make them prettier.
    – You could do a challenge-response with the email address.

  2. I’ve had more blogspammers lately than I know what to do with. I’ve seen a few, mainly Mishka and Boris, that have wormed their way all over the web like some sort of couple playing tag, and I tend to delete them with nearly reckless abandon.
    Why must people be such trolls sometimes?

  3. Count me in as well as being hit by Blog Spammers as of late. For now, I’ve just been banning their IP addresses in MovableType. Does anyone know of a comment system for MT (like a plug-in) that forces people to “register” with your site to be able to comment?
    That would solve the problem. I want to say Ben and Mena talked about this type of solution in either an upcoming version TypePad or the “mysterious” MT Pro?

  4. Update. I renamed mt-comments.cgi and left it as an empty CGI script for a few days. Logic suggests that the only people who would stumble across it are either those viewing a cached version of a blog archive page which would still have the old links, or a blogspammer, right? Well, I’ve had forty hits to the busted CGI in the last 36 hours, as far as I can tell. It seems to me that I renamed things just before the wave arrived!
    And as of this morning, I slightly rewrote the now broken mt-comments.cgi script to generate a “comment rejected” error. Maybe these boneheads will move along to the next weblog and stop bugging us, eh?!

  5. I’ve seen SPAM appear not only in email, but GUESTBOOKS as well. There’s just NO END to their so-called “mission”.
    I’m one who think SPAMMERS should be treated like telemarketers who call me (YES, I’m ON the NATIONAL “Do-Not-Call” List, for what that seems to be worth nowadays! šŸ™ *Grr…* Don’t get me started on THAT one!).
    But the big question is WHERE DO YOU BEGIN to fight spam?
    Just a few random (and perhaps useless) thoughts. Cheers for now šŸ™‚
    Pat

  6. Yeah, I saw that but I don’t agree with what they say, and in fact I sent them email about it: for MY audience, I believe that the “image comprehension technology” solution would be just fine, and I’d like the option of turning that feature on. I can appreciate that they’re trying to be all things to all customers (as any good business would) but I don’t have the same constraints and I’m willing to disable a tiny percentage of my audience in return for making it bloody difficult for blogspam to be added to my weblog without direct and manual intervention. As I said to Ben in my message, I could implement this myself, but I hate hacking MT and then finding that it’s all broken or lost each time I upgrade to a new version…
    Also, Jake Luddington has an interesting message of his own on this topic too, at: http://jake.iowageek.com/archives/000114.html

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