Blog spam

ralf h.'s picture

The bots regularly spam our Typophile blogs. Example:

What can we do about it? Reporting each single entry is probably not the best solution. I can't even ignore these spam posts because they always show up in the Track function and AFAIK I cannot even unsubscribe my own entries, can I?
If the admins don't spot these spammers, I guess the best option would be to give the blog users the option to delete replies in threads they have started.

kentlew's picture

Sorry about the nuisances, Ralf. They're gone now.

Both Florian and I try to police most sections of the site daily.

I check the General Forums and Design daily. Florian usually watches Type ID. And one of us usually catches Build activity before too long. I regularly check the main Blog section, but since the list doesn’t re-order based on comments, only original posting date, I don’t always catch spam comments in older blog posts. For some reason, certain threads become spam magnets.

For a while I was regularly checking the master Comments listing every morning, but I had to stop at one point because I was otherwise too busy and it’s really time-consuming. I will try to resume.

You can always send me an e-mail if a spam comment persists and you think we’ve missed it.

Initial posts are run through the antispam filter, but individual comments currently are not. The engine still puts up too many false positives, which would seriously hamper conversations.

(Ironically, this post was originally flagged and I had to rescue it from the spam queue. *sigh*)

JamesM's picture

> Initial posts are run through the antispam filter

Since some spammers know how to fool filters, would it be possible to set it up so that a new user's first post must be approved by an administrator before it's posted?

kentlew's picture

James — Unfortunately, that would require too much overhead, since all this administration is volunteer. The Type ID forum alone would slow to a crawl and we’d spend hours and hours every day monitoring and administering.

If everyone is willing to be a little patient and just ignore the occasional spam (irritating as it is), usually within 24 hours it gets cleaned up.

Again, I apologize for the occasional lapses when situations like Ralf’s slip through undetected for an extended length of time. For those cases, just let one of us know.

JamesM's picture

> we’d spend hours and hours every day monitoring

I understand that if you have to manually search for posts by new users, but is there a way to configure the software so it presents you with just a list of first-time posts from new users? (After the spam filter has already done an initial weeding.)

I'm asking because a friend used to moderate a discussion board and it was configured that way. A couple of times a day she'd just review the list of first-time posts from new users that had made it through the spam filter, and it just took her a minute to weed out the remaining spam and approve the rest.

Perhaps the software running this message board doesn't have that feature; I'm just asking. I totally understand that manually searching would be too time-consuming.

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