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Macinblog's comments have been heavily spammed these last 7 days. I've spent the last 2 hours cleaning up the unwanted comments and blocking their IPs out.

The comment's always come with a phony e-mail address, and an URL pointing to some porn site :( Most of the time, the comment simply reads "Interesting" or "Interesting, my previous post got lost" or something similar.

The URL always points to some pornographic site. I've run a lookup and alerted the ISPs I could trace of the nature of some of their "clients". Unfortunately, it won't do much good.

This raises a problem regarding the open comments of weblog posts. MovableType doesn't currently offer the possibility of turning on or off the URL field. If the user enters an e-mail and an URL then, MT builds a link with the URL. Which is what it is meant to do, and is beneficial to the user's site as it adds a link pointing towards it. Typically, Google takes into account that parameter in its search results.

But the side effect can be nasty. I guess there are robots filling up MT comment fields with useless comments and links back to somber sites as those I cleaned up tonight.

I might consider removing the URL field altogether from the comment form.

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Comments and responses

  • 12 Oct 2003

    I just posted about comment spam this afternoon to my own blog, and I’ve commented with this helpful link to two other sites. So many people are talking the issue. A plug-in is due tomorrow that hopes to help us with this problem. I’m looking forward to trying it:
    I’m not spamming with the link. I have no idea who the author is other than he seems to know what he’s talking about and I’m really tired of the spam like everyone else. :-)

  • 12 Oct 2003

    Thanks for the tip Judi! I’ll be trying it too as soon as it is released.

  • 14 Oct 2003

    SixApart (the company behind MovableType) has a recent post talking about this issue. It’s good to know that they are fully aware of the problem.

  • 19 Oct 2003

    I have found this other useful link to “Seven quick tips for a spam-free blog”

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