Living in the Middle East, I learned to live with the up close and personal issue of life with terrorists and suicide bombers. Among the many lessons I learned was the reality of the phrase “You can’t let terrorists win.” While the United States is still learning what that really means, the courage to not let terrorists win is an appropriate metaphor for our ongoing battle with blog comment spam.
We can’t let the comment spammers win.
Too often they win by forcing us to make it more difficult for our readers to comment on our blogs. We punish our readers by putting up road blocks and security fences, forcing them to jump through hoops to leave a comment on our blog posts. Fear and the hassles of comment spam is strangling the joy out of the conversation that makes blogs successful and distinctive from websites.
I’m here to tell you that I’m winning the battle against comment spammers by not letting the bastards win, nor by spoiling the experience for my readers.
I’m winning with the following comment spam fighting policies:
- I do not use forced comment moderation.
- I do not force people to register in order to participate on any of my blogs.
- I do not force people to be logged in to comment.
- I do not force visitors to dance through captchas, doing math problems, answering stupid questions, or guessing at bizarre spelled words.
- I do monitor as much of the caught comment spam as possible for any false/positives that slip through, helping to train my comment spam fighting tools to improve comment spam recognition.
- I do keep my blog free from comment spam, catching and removing the few that occasionally slip through as fast as I can.
- I respect my audience.
- I respect those who comment even more.
This is not an easy task. Between my various blogs, I work with a team of top spam fighting and catching tools. Akismet, Bad Behavior, and Spam Karma 2 are the leaders of the comment spam fighting pack.
Akismet blows away thousands of comment spam weekly on this blog. Recently, Akismet’s total comment spams fought off since it was installed on this blog hit 50,000 caught comment spams, and a few days ago, I found it caught 1399 comment spams in one day! That’s impressive comment spam fighting stuff.
On my full version WordPress blogs, Bad Behavior slaps comment spammers away before they even can get in the door. Any that manage to slip through are caught and jailed with Spam Karma and/or Akismet. With these three sturdy soldiers at my side, I do my best not to inconvenience my readers and commenters.
The best comment spam fighting methods are the invisible ones. If you don’t see comment spam on my blog, I’m winning the war.
Can you say the same?
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