Reduction in Spam

I’ve been using MT-Blacklist to reduce the amount of comment spam that gets posted to this blog and it has worked pretty well. However, there’s always a bit that gets through that I need to remove manually. I then cut and paste the URL’s that appear in the messages and put them in MT-Blacklist’s filter list and run the despammer.A few weeks ago I started getting spammed with messages that didn’t have any URL’s in them and contained jibberish. I’m not sure why someone would do such a thing, as usually comment spam is used in an attempt to increase rankings in search engines such as Google by driving up the number of web pages that link to the particular site. Without a URL to look for, MT-Blacklist was basically useless.So as I manually deleted each of these URL-less comments, I ended up closing the posts to new comments and marking them as unpingable for trackbacks. Currently there are about 230 posts in this blog. I have probably closed about 15-20% of them to new comments. Unfortunately there is no easy way to close all of the comments at once. There is another Movable Type plug-in that can do this, but based on its description on the Six Apart plug-in site, it will only work with installations that use a SQL backend (not the default SleepyCat db option which I’m using).Regardless, I haven’t received much spam since I closed that 15-20%. I don’t know if the spammers are slowing down, if they were only targetting posts with certain ID’s, or if the random smattering of closed posts were enough to deter the spammers from trying to find open comments. Whatever the reason, it’s a welcome change. The time it takes to despam the site is time taken away from spending time with my family.

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