SpamBots suck… and here’s what we’re doing about it

Posted by at 4:30PM

spambot.jpg
The spam filter built in to MovableType, which is the blog software Stanford provides to student groups seeking to create their own blogs, catches a good 75% of the spam we receive every day from evil spam robots who flood our Comments system with links to increase their ranking in Google search results. Over the past three weeks, for example, the filter caught 497 spam comments.
However, this isn’t good enough, and until now, we’ve been manually deleting the spam that slips through the filter. At one point, the volume of spamming was so high that our database broke and I had to re-install the entire blog (remember the “routine maintenance” post?). Luckily, this time, we moved to an industrial-strength database so that the Blog won’t break, no matter how much pressure the SpamBots apply.
Given Anthony’s prodding, we’re stepping up the effort further. After scouring the internet, I believe we’ve found a suitable plugin that requires human verification for commenting, but that I think won’t overburden our users with mental (or visual) gymnastics. It’s called TinyTuring, and all it requires is that you type in the first letter of the sentence it provides you with before posting a comment.
We’ve installed it on the Blog, so give it a try and let us know if you experience any problems with it. On this end, we’ll be waiting to see if any spam comments slip through. We’re three hours into using this plugin and so far… no spam.
Woot.

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2 Responses to “SpamBots suck… and here’s what we’re doing about it”

  1. Anthony Sanchez says:

    Good Job! I feel violated when spammers do the evil things they do!

  2. Friend says:

    Good and seems to be new feature. However, if i really read articles and post some comments according that – is it spam too? Or spam is only postings made by some software?
    (this question is discussed more wide everyday, however – probably no 100% sure answer..)

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