Dealing with spam

As those who check this site’s comments feed out in a newsreader will know, for the past couple of months I have been plagued with comment spam. It’s been incessant, and extremely annoying. So annoying in fact that last week I was moved to actually do something about it. I know! I hacked on this site’s template and actually wrote some code!

Spam is still getting through of course, but you’d be amazed at how much is being throttled before you, faithful reader, actually see it. I’m catching anything up to 120 comments each day, whilst just a few make it to the site (albeit briefly).

I am still amazed at why people bother though, I must confess. Extraordinary.


  1. So Ben, ya gonna tell all us lazy people out here what ya actually did? :)

    My own (neglected) blog is being hit and whilst I've tried a couple of measures, it still keeps coming through. Would be interested to know what you've done (in the most generic way of course given our blogs are both "roll yer own").Colin Williams#
  2. Colin - I will do an entry on my blog today or tommorrow going through the most effective method I have come across for stopping spam (do you see any dominoblog based sites getting any?)Steve Castledine#
  3. Colin — can do! I’m happy to write up the detail at some point if people would find it of interest. In the meantime, here’s what I do when a comment is submitted:

    - Scan for barred IP ranges (this can still be quite effective)
    - Scan for certan words (e.g. the various drugs out there)
    - Link throttle (more than a few links in the comment means “no”)
    - A couple of other secret tips ;-)

    If a comment comes up against any of these criteria, then it becomes a “dodgy post” document (i.e. is not displayed on the site) & I deal accordingly with some code that runs against selected documents, banning & deleting in one fell swoop.

    Does that help any?Ben Poole#
  4. Cheers Ben - all good pointers!Colin Williams#

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I’m a software architect / developer / general IT wrangler specialising in web, mobile web and middleware using things like node.js, Java, C#, PHP, HTML5 and more.

Best described as a simpleton, but kindly. You can read more here.