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August 5, 2004

comment spam revisited

Last night I received another 140 spam comments, and these were advertisements for photos of rape, incest, and torture. (I'm quoting verbatim from their own descriptions.) Anyone who can place 140 horrifying comments on my site can place 1,400, and completely shut me down. Therefore, instead of posting something substantive today, I've spent my blogging time trying to protect this site from the true scum of the earth.

I wanted to follow Nick Beaudrot's good advice to install a "visual filter" or "captcha" that would test whether those trying to post comments are (sighted) human beings. Despite an ethical qualm about blocking access to blind people, I will install such a filter if it proves necessary. However, a quick search didn't turn up any user-friendly versions. There are scripts available online, but they lack installation instructions simple enough for dummies like me. Therefore, I have followed the advice on this page, which basically suggests creating non-standard names for software files to fool automated spammers. As a result of the changes I've made today, you must now pass through two steps to leave a comment, but it's straightforward.

Posted by peterlevine at 2:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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