In iwaruna.com’s “Comment Policy Review”, the author explores the struggle most bloggers have in dealing with the issue of battling comment spam on their blogs.
I started out hyper-paranoid and became a “Fort Knox of websites,” as a friend put it: I required registration. I required login. I monitored and moderated every comment. I turned on CAPTCHA. All posts had comments and pings turned off by default. I installed a bunch of WordPress plugins: Akismet, Spam Karma, Bad Behavior, Anti-Leech, etc. It drove me (and my testers) crazy.
It took some amount of testing and learning before I found a suitable combination of anti-spam tools and rules. Communication should be neither overwhelming to me, nor confusing to readers who wish to share something. Developing a sensible comment policy did not occur right away.
I’ve written extensively about the issue of blog comment spam, but I’d also like to address an issue that has not been made really clear.
You cannot stop comment spam on your blog.
Comment spam can only be stopped when comment spammers are stopped. The efforts you make on your blog only stop comment spam from reaching the public eye.
There is no tool currently available that literally stops comment spam on your blog. There are several tools that stop comment spam from appearing on your blog. Akismet, Spam Karma, and Bad Behavior are the gatekeepers, preventing what comment spam they can from getting through the door and then holding back the evil that does get through.
Before these comment spam fighting tools were around, bloggers spent a lot of time sifting through comments, removing comments stuffed with stupid phrases, nasty links, sex, drugs, mortgages, online music, casino crap, and tons of other crap. Now, bloggers sift through fewer comment spams within their comment’s listing, and spend time sifting through caught comment spam looking for false/positives.
Trust me, it’s less work, but none of our efforts actually stop comment spam. So don’t think that by using any of these tools your comment spam levels will drop. They will still be there, but it’s harder and harder for the comment spammers to get through to your real comments list.
I’ve put out a call repeatedly to bloggers to use the power of their blogging voices to put an end to the rewards of being a comment spammer. We need to put comment spammers out of business. Anyone listening?
As a united voice, I believe that the same creativity and sense of community spirit that built MyBlogLogs, MySpace, FaceBook, and Digg can put their energy into stopping the virus that infects all of us. Comment spam crosses country borders and language borders. Every blogger is assaulted by comment spam. Let’s find a way to work together with some great ideas to stop comment spamming at its root.
Imagine a web where bandwidth is wide open, flowing with only creative energy and news, not trillions of comment spams about gambling, viagra, and sex. Imagine putting all your energy into writing your blog, recording your podcasts, and filming your videos, and not spent crawling through lists of humiliation and obscenities.
Any suggestions on how to implement a web-wide attack against comment spammers? You’re creative folks. How about some ideas?
- What is Comment Spam?
- I’m Winning the Battle Against Comment Spam
- What Will Stop Comment Spam?
- Mean Spirited Comments and Blogging
- You Must Be Logged In To Comment
- One Year Anniversary Review: Comments on Comments
- Battling Comment Spam: Human Versus Human
- Imprisonment for Annoying People Online
- Monitoring Blog Comments
- A Day in the Life of a Paranoid Website Administrator
- Website Hammered by Hotlinking, Spammers, and Free Loaders?
- Content Specific Comment Spam on the Loose
- Illegal Internet Gambling and Gambling Comment Spam
- Comment Spam: Vengeance is Theirs and Mine
- Looks Like Your Page Was Heavily Hit By Spam – Yeah, Right, Spammer
- Akismet Smacked By Comment Spam: The Stats
- Check Your WordPress.com Comments for Comment Spam
- The Attack of the Spam-Bots from Hell
- Spam: Stupid Pointless Annoying Messages in Emails, Comments, and Everywhere
- Comment Spammers Getting Smarter – But Not Smart Enough
- New Comment Spammer on the Loose – Pay Attention
- Americans Spend 40% of Their Time Online Deleting Spam
- Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Replaced by Sex, Drugs, and Mortgage Rates
- Akismet: All Our Comment Spam Fighting Eggs in One Basket
- Changing Blogging Programs Won’t Stop Comment Spam
- WordPress Plugins Battling Evil
- Bad-Behavior Continues to Give the Finger to Comment Spammers
- Things I Want Gone from the Web in 2007
- Akismet Auntie Spam Firefox-Greasemonkey Page Viewing Script
- Winning the Battle Over Comment Spam: Akismet and Search Engines?
- Help Stop Trackback Comment Spam Via Google
- Stupid Spammers: To Remove Your Site From Our Comment Spamming Database Instructions
- Would You Do Business With a Comment Spammer?