Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spammers Win - Anonymous Commenting Disabled

Like Kleps, I'm seeing a substantial uptick in spam comments that are getting through Google's spam filter on the blog.  Historically, the filter has been very good at its job, but recently the upper hand seems to have gone to the spammers.  This is a problem because the one thing Google's spam filter has NOT been good at historically is wasting my time by sending me emails to notify me of comments that it subsequently put into the spam filter (meaning that when I spend my time to go check, the comment is already gone).  I get 20 emails per day containing spam comments and until recently none of then had been getting through, but now I'm coming back a few days later and finding that 10% are - which adds up to several spam comments on every post.

I'm disappointed by this outcome because I personally am not a fan of being forced to log in to share my thoughts, and I've gotten some very insightful comments from anonymous readers over the years.  Unfortunately, the signal to noise has just gotten prohibitive of late. 


Bhagpuss said...

When I moved to allowing anonymous commenting I didn't see much in the way of spam at first but it's beginning to creep up. I don't get enough traffic for it to be a problem yet but I can see a trend developing.

I'd hate to have to disable anonymous comments because opening up to them has led to several readers commenting and mentioning that they hadn't done so before because of the logging in to comment thing. I don't like doing it either so I can hardly complain!

Syl said...

Same here, must've turned it on few weeks ago now. I still get some spam though from fake accounts.
It seems to be rampant among us blogger users of late, not sure what changed?

Dàchéng said...

I, too, have been seeing a lot of spam recently.

I switched off Captcha on my blogspot site, because it seemed to be causing a lot of people problems, and allowed anonymous comments. I haven't seen any increase in the number of valuable comments I got on my site, just the amount of spam.

Recently I switched on comment moderation on older posts, and I think that's helping. If it turns out not to be enough, I'll either have to switch off anonymous commenting, or turn on Captcha again.

Honestly, I wonder if it will cause spammers much problem to create an account, spam until they're caught, then create a new account and start again.

Syl said...

Blogger captchas are about the WORST thing ever! :(

Green Armadillo said...

I've been using comment moderation for a number of years now on all posts older than 14 days old. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of comments - pretty much 100% of which are spam from anonymous posters - has made it such that I might as well just disable comments outright beyond 14 days for how unlikely it is that I will actually read and approve the rare non-spam comment.

For reference, at the time I disabled comments, I had over 800 comments in the moderation queue and another 12,400 comments in the spam folder. I paged through several screens of each and did not see a single comment that was not an anonymous spam. I have not received a single spam since I disabled anonymous comments.

I did not even consider turning on CAPTCHAS. Even in the unlikely event that they were 100% effective in blocking spam, the things annoy me so much - I have repeatedly failed the human test on other people's blogs - that I wouldn't subject anyone else to them.