May 17, 2004

Ar·ma·ged·don with Comments

You know, I love comments. I love being able to leave comments on another's site, on a topic that is not part of my Napsterization topic area, or any of the other blogs I sometimes write on in group blogs. I love people who don't have blogs being able to comment here. But this is too much.

Last Thursday, I had over 1000 comment spam, each with a different IP, different email address, different message, different URL which means that I had to individually add each URL to MT-Blacklist, though the root URL was mostly the same over about every 120 spam. Tried to kill, as more and more spam was flying in, and got nowhere. Tried blocking IPs but no dice. Tried changing the templates and URL's but nothing there either. They adapted. Friday, had another 1000. Saturday, 1500. Sunday, I shut comments off, even though the logs were denying tons of attempted spam.

So maybe it's a bit dramatic to say it's a decisive or catastrophic conflict. But I'm not kidding, 4500 spam (and 4500 separate email notifications from those Borg spammers who want us to think resistence is futile) in four days is absolutely fucking ridiculous. Assholes ruining our discussion. I mean fucking hell. What is this? Hours spent removing this crap is totally frustrating. Why? It's not like they are succeeding with their Google pagerank. Google doesn't appear to index comments anyway. Hello. Stop with the fucking spam okay?

I know the new Moveable Type 3.0 has a registration system, but I'm not sure that's the answer, though I haven't upgraded yet due to waiting to hear from them on emailed questions about their licensing for educational purposes (though I'd really like to because living with the couple of whopper bugs has been awful the past few months). Yes, I'd like to see everyone with their own blog. But then, when someone wants to comment, it means, if they comment once a month, that they actually have one post a month on their blog, possibly on many different topics. Not sure that's a great solution for people who are not regular bloggers.

And comments attached to a particular post mean that all the comments are in one place, though I know Technorati can help find conversations across blogs but only if there are links to one another or everyone uses the same key words. However, it means that over time, blogs and links have to be maintained if they comment on other blogs on other servers, in order to keep the whole conversation alive. While I would like to see this, sometimes dead blogs just get removed or links break. So comments from infrequent commenters are nice to have all in one place at one discussion.

I want to have comments, I don't want to have registration (for many reasons), I do want MT-Blacklist to have the functionality to take care of these issues. Maybe it would stop comments once a barrage starts -- no more than 5 comments in an hour, and then the ability to force a temporary halt to the publishing of comments without owner approval. Whatever it is, the system needs much more flexibility to see and control submissions. And MT should functionallly allow the global turning off of comments, and the global turning back on, once civility has been restored. Right now I have that choice only by blowing away the various comment's templates which I did a day or so ago.

Posted by Mary Hodder at May 17, 2004 11:43 AM | TrackBack

Phil Ringalda has a patch for MT that throttles comments that you might find helpful.

Posted by: Tim at May 20, 2004 08:18 PM

in regards to "google does not appear to index comments anyway"..., I would not be so sure.

I'm not sure how this was judged, but back when that comment was written, the link: command only returned pages with PR above 4, so many links on pages with comments would not be returned. Even today (when google returns links with PR below 4), the link: command only provides a sample of pages that link to a site.

Posted by: steve at September 8, 2004 09:59 AM

One more market.

Posted by: Jeff at April 15, 2005 10:34 AM