SPAM Deluge

beachI visited the beach with my family and had a lovely time.

Waves, sand, sun, relaxed husband and happy children. It was perfect.

Then I arrived home to discover more than 2000 spam comments awaiting me on my blog. Two thousand! All advertisements for knock-off handbags, sunglasses, and shoes deposited by spam-bots. That’s more than 100 pages of spam. And each one has to be manually removed from the “comments pending” queue.

I’ve resisted implementing a “captcha” code here. I think they’re a pain for commenters. But something had to be done!

So I went searching for a captcha plug-in that would only appear the first time you comment on my blog.

The way it works is you’ll see a string of letters or letters and numbers in a window on your computer screen when you click the “post” button for your comment. The plug-in will ask you to type two of them into the window. Please do so and then click the “I’m human” button.

Your comment will then appear in my “pending comments” queue. I’ll click “approve,” and it will appear in the comments below the blog post.

The next time you post a comment, you won’t see the captcha screen and your comment will appear right away!

Email me, if that’s not the way it’s working for you, and I’ll try to fix it. Or I’ll try a different captcha plug-in.

Fingers crossed!

Update 9/6/2014: I’ve received no reports of difficulty posting from my commenters, so yay! And the captcha has saved me from 21,923 spams thus far. I think it’s working. 😀

For more about blogging:
Copyright Statement for My Website
Why Create a Site Map?
Slow Blogging and Other Variations
New Home Page

 

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6 thoughts on “SPAM Deluge

  1. I wonder how that happened – but I sympathize. It must have been a real shock. And there’s that wondering if your site has somehow been compromised by the garbage dump.

    It’s scary to know how much WordPress shields me from – all I worry about is the content of my own posts and the book I’m posting. Some day I will have to do the proper author-website deal (and yes, I already pay for the domain name I won’t use for a while yet – you have to preserve your name), but I’m holding off on that because I don’t see any immediate benefit. It will require more study – and WordPress won’t be there to save me from spam (without me learning how to use all that stuff).

    You gain freedom – but you become responsible.

    • I’d been accumulating roughly 100 spam comments a day and finding the clearing of them to be wearisome. Even with Akismet working, you have to look at each comment to make sure it really is spam before you empty the spam bucket. I have discovered real comments hidden in the spam, so I wouldn’t want to skip this step.

      Since my vacation was truly vacation (I didn’t work at all), I expected 600 to 800 spams to “greet me at the door.”

      I suppose my hundred spams per day has been slowly growing without really registering on my consciousness. I feel beslimmed after screening spam. It seems to represent the desperate dregs of humanity, willing to litter in order to make a buck.

  2. The above comment was partly to try out your new spam block – but you must have grandmothered me in somehow, because it didn’t ask me to type anything, and published my drivel right away.

    At least I tried. Best of luck with the new blocker.

    Alicia

    • Thanks, Alicia. I wasn’t sure whether the new spam-blocking plug-in would recognize folk who had already commented, like you, or whether you would need to go through the captcha once. The former, I gather. Good to know. Thanks for giving it a test run!

  3. 100 spams a day? That’s horrible.

    Akismet is very, very good – and someone else’s job to improve.

    But I think you should state a policy that you will NOT look at your spam; that it will be deleted without being examined.

    I did that after I checked on one innocuous one and it wrenched my gag reflex.

    If people are too stupid to realize they can’t write the kind of comments that get blocked by Akismet, they are too stupid to have their comments read.

    Your time is far too valuable for that – just post a policy that says the kind of things that have gotten caught in the spam bucket before (posts that are too short, too generic, whatever you’ve already noticed in the past – don’t go looking for new stuff).

    There are mental images you can’t unsee. I try to minimize those. If I err too much on the side of caution, so be it.

    As we say, IMHO.

    Alicia

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