One of the annoying things about managing a blog — the only one actually — is SPAM. For a long time I was able to block spam with a program which would filter out certain phrases and URLs, but the spammers finally got too smart for that. The same thing has happened to my e-mail as well, and I find I am suddenly getting more SPAM in my inbox. However, with the blog I have some options not available for e-mail: The most effective has been my new CAPTCHA plugin which makes sure that only real humans can post by requiring everyone to type out a piece of code which appears in an image field. This has worked great, although Mike points out that it creates accessibility problems for the visually disabled. I’m very upset about this, and as soon as something better comes along I will replace it, but for the present it is either use CAPTCHA or disable comments altogether. Unfortunately, this has not completely stopped SPAM… I still get people doing google searches and adding SPAM comments to older posts manually. Not as much as before, but I’ve decided to implement a third plugin which will disable comments on all posts older than 21 days. Since most of my “authentic” comments are made immediately after I post something, this should work OK without preventing actual discussion which I love.
A full list of WordPress comment SPAM solutions can be found here.
I’m sure spammers will eventually come up with ingenious ways around these blocking methods. And the SPAM fighters will then come up with new ways of blocking them. I just wish that all this creative energy went into something more useful than selling fake rolex watches.
UPDATE: Here is a tip on how to deal with Trackback SPAM.