Comment Spam

It’s literally coming faster than I can delete it. I need to do something drastic. Most of it doesn’t hit the site, but I still have to delete it. I spent an hour deleting comment spam on Sunday. I’m looking at a few options and these are the ones on which I would like your opinion:

  • Preview – force users to preview their comments before they post. This prevents bots from flooding the posts with spam. If you’ve read JWalkblog, you know how this works.
  • Registered Users – Only users who have registered would be able to comment. I think 90% of the commenters are regular readers and are already registered. However, it’s one more username, password that you have to remember.
  • Close Comments – I’m seriously considering closing comments on posts that are one month old. Very few of those posts get comments that aren’t spam. Some do and some add valuable information which would be lost under this method.

I’m looking at other alternatives that are less intrusive to your reading experience. I will likely use a combination of techniques. If you have an opinion on the above three or any other ideas, please leave a comment.

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15 thoughts on “Comment Spam

  1. Dick,

    Closing comments could be a shame, and registering is a bit of a pain – how about starting with enforcing Previews and see how that goes?


  2. I agree with Paul. Since I started using the Stopgap Extreme plugin I literally have not had any spam problems on my blog ( It is a much, much better alternative than closing down the comments.

  3. Preview works best for me. Its a good idea anyway, as it forces people to catch obvious blunders and typos!

  4. Previews – okay.
    Close comments on > 6 months (1 month is too short)
    retinal scans – no problem.

  5. If Preview works for you then it works for me. One less password to remember / log on with.
    Of course, long term, how long before the spammers work out a way of automating hitting preview and then you’re back to where you started from :(

  6. 1) Preview = no problem.
    2) Registered Users = OK.
    3) Close Comments = would be a shame. Only last week I added some useful info to a 2004-06-03 post “External Data – Mixed Types” (useful for me to refer to, anyhow).



  7. I don’t think elimination of comments is the answer. It’s kind of like a lot of other things with contemporary law that punishes the law abiding and supports the criminal. The whole purpose of having the site is to extract as much information into one spot as possible; and this is a quality site. I have been around spreadsheets since their inception, but I learn something everytime I come to this site (and others like it).

    If registration is the fix then UN & Pswrd is the price – nothing is free!


  8. I like the graphic code thing. No need to remember UID/PWD, no need to rely on cookies to remember (I have too many computers for this to work), and it’s relatively simple.

    And please don’t turn off comments after any arbitrary time period.

  9. Thanks for the comments. First, Kitten’s Spaminator doesn’t work for me. I open the php file in Notepad and there’s no line breaks. I’m not going through that whole file to add line breaks, so I’m abondoning that option unless someone tells me what I’m doing wrong.

    I’ve installed HashCash which uses Javascript. This is the first comment since that’s been installed. If you can read this, I guess that’s something. The rest of my spam strategy will be in a post.

Posting code? Use <pre> tags for VBA and <code> tags for inline.

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