Thursday, March 21, 2013

Damn Spam Bots

A girl can only take so much

I was afraid this day would be coming.  First Smitty was hit with a large number of spam comments, and then Rauk was hit as well.  I was certainly getting spam comments, but only about five or six a day.  Every few days one of those spam comments would make it through the spam filter, but I would just log in to the blog, mark it as spam, then delete it.

Ahh... I'll start calling those the "Good ol' Days".  This morning when I logged in I had just over 30 spam comments.  11 of which made it through the filter.  I cleaned them up and hoped it was a one off problem.  But this afternoon I had another 30 or so spam comments, 4 of which made it through the filter.

This leaves me in a 'no win' situation.  I want to make commenting as easy as possible.  Not only because I want to hear from everyone, but I want to make having a conversation easy.  I know at Dee's blog I'll head over there and if there isn't a new cap, I'll pop on down to her 'Dee-ep Thoughts' (recent comments) gadget and see who has said what.  I'm hoping that people use my own Recent Comments gadget in the same way... but that just isn't possible if its full of spam comments.  Sadly it's all to easy to stop the spam commments as they don't post (so far as I know) through the captcha image.

But I hate the captcha image.  It's a pain at best, and damn near impossible when on a mobile device.  In other words, it makes it harder for people to comment.

So as I see it, I either leave it as is, making it a pain to find recent comments and giving myself a chore to do every time I log in, or I make sure there is no spam but make it difficult to post comments.

If they were just posting text comments, I'd see this as an equal problem. I'd take on the extra work and continue to let it be easy to post comments.  But the spam comments all have internal links that would lead off any unaware viewer not only off my blog, but to some possibly dangerous site.  I don't want anybody to get hurt, so I'm re applying the captcha image to the comments section.

I hate doing this... I really do.  But I can't think of a better solution.  I'll of course continue to allow anonymous postings.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


  1. I think that its a co-ordinated wave from the spammers, and I'm sure that within a week or two Blogger will be back up to blocking most of the spam comments.

    Why do I know its a co-ordinated effort? Because I had 9 spam comments in my filter and one had gotten through. Usually I get 1-2 a day and none posted to the actual blog, and I just delete them. Seems reasonable to do so that I can have free discussions with whomever wants to chat, especially on mobile devices.

    I also hope that visitors are smart enough to not click on a link to take them to a website for ball bearings ... yeah, ball bearings! There were 3-4 comments in the spam filter this morning dealing with ball bearings! Sometimes I think that these things aren't REAL spam but just some people that don't like certain blogs so they try to troll them until they give up.

    5-6 a day isn't bad Caitlyn if it can drop down to that each morning. I run a moderated website dealing with certain occupations, and the only people allowed to see the actual site have to be referred by others in the field .. and I still get about 40-70 bots a day looking for access. I'll come back on a Monday and have to banhammer 150+ IP and email addresses.

    1. I completely agree that five or six spam comments a day isn't bad especially when they only rarely get through the filter. I'd be willing to deal with that. But 60? No no no... that's just too much.

      I won't be leaving the captcha up permanently. I too think that it's someone (or several someones) hassling certain blogs. Hopefully if I leave this up for a couple weeks, they'll take me off their radar, and I'll be able to take it off then.

  2. How do you know if you are receiving spam comments?

    1. Leeanne, for the most part a spam comment will include a link to their blog. It will also be a vague comment that can apply to almost any blog post anywhere. Here is the last spam comment I got as an example (without the link):

      "Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you might be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!"

      At first glance it looks good and could apply to this post. Or my last cap post. Or my last question post. It doesn't specifically apply to ANY post though. With the link at the end (again, which I didn't post here) to some random non TG cap blog it seems a little more fishy.

      And only some of them are on recent posts. Most are on old posts that will be found by search engines (for me they mainly hit up my "Smoking is a Bitch!" post which was posted in May of 2011.

  3. I could see having to destroy those spam posts being inconvenient, but I expect those of us who really want to comment wouldn't be put off by something as trivial as a captcha, though i can see how it would be troublesome with a mobile.

    Spammers will spam though, and there is little you can do unless you use only sites that require membership to post.
    Still, thank you for posting such great captions and putting up with the rest of the net.

  4. I had the same problem so I had to turn on CAPTCHA. I understand your pain! Hopefully this'll be over soon!

  5. Well... it's been almost two weeks since I turned the captcha off. It's been nice not having to worry about checking the comments several times a day and cleaning out the spam ones.

    But as I really don't like making anyone have to deal with it, I've turned it off again. I'll try to keep a close eye on it, and if the spam bots return with the same vigor as they had, I'll just turn it on again and wait for a month instead of just a couple weeks.

    Keep your fingers crossed, and happy commenting!