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Some Thoughts on Spam

spamI’ve been experimenting with different configurations for spam protection lately and want to share results which may be interesting to other bloggers.

Unprotected

Leaving blog without any protection is worse than turning off firewall on your computer. Don’t do it – you’ll get hammered with spam. It doesn’t matter what blog engine you use and how popular your blog is. People make living by “harvesting” unprotected blogs and selling lists to third parties, sooner or later you’ll end up on that list – and it likely will be sold more than once…

Recaptcha

Recaptcha will stop about 80% of all spam, which is interesting. I find it hard to believe that so many people do manual spam comments, it is more likely that some bots are more sophisticated than others and found a way to break through Recaptcha while others don’t. But anyway, filtering out 80% of garbage is a good thing, turn it on.

Akismet

Personally I don’t like to force commenters jump through recaptcha hoop, so I turned it off. Yes, that means a whole lot more spam to deal with, but that’s ok if you don’t have to do it manually. And as spammers… sorry, SEO experts, getting more aggressive, thankfully watch dogs like Akismet getting better too. Just take a look at my stats below:

stats

The way it works, comment gets passed through the chain of enabled anti-spam services and if any of them thinks it is spam, it goes to the spam folder and dog that barked gets spam counter incremented as a reward.

So, according to my stats Akismet blocked 124 spam comments, which is very good. Only 18 spams passed further and got killed by StopForumSpam (5) and TypePad (13). And what really awesome – not a singe spam got into inbox. Wow! I guess, it really pays off to turn on all 3 services currently available in BlogEngine.

It is really fascinating cat-and-mouse game to watch. What puzzles me is why Google sucks so much when it gets to fighting spammers. I would think they figure it out long ago and create their own hit list, so spammer rating would go down instead of up. I guess, there is some interest involved.

Update - 3 month later:

Comments (5) -

You should try my SimpleCaptcha plugin that was incorporated into BlogEngine.NET 2.0 - I put it in there because I found that ReCaptcha wasn't all that effective and actually stopped some legitimate commenters from being able to actually post a comment.

SimpleCaptcha doesn't stop manual spammers, but it stops the vast majority of spam out there. Plus you can customize the prompt and answer yourself.

I did, and it worked great. It's just I don't need this at the moment, out of 300+ spam only 2 got in the inbox since I upgraded to BE 2.0. Might need it in the future though, you never know, so thanks I might try it again.

How do I enable auto-moderation in BE 2.0?  The only options I see are to moderate or not (via the checkbox in the dashboard).  I've got askimet and StopForumSpam enabled, but the counters are stuck at zero.

Ive noticed that some spammers where using software that could easily eveade a captcha system that i was using on my blog. ive no started using recaptcha and a lot has improved since i installed it.

Akismet is one that works very well, but of course not perfect from time to time are cast some

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