Monday, December 10, 2012

Spam spam spam

A while ago I turned off CAPTCHA for comments on this blog, so you wouldn't need to read a nearly-unreadable blob of gibberish in order to post a comment.  "Looks more professional," they said.  "Spam filters work fine," they said ...

It did work fine for a few months, but lately there has been a rash of spam comments and the filters haven't caught up yet.  I considered my options:

  • Spammers gonna spam.  Just let it be and hand-delete the comments every so often.  That seemed OK when it was one or two a week, but ignoring the problem hasn't seemed to make it go away.
  • Limit comments to people with Google accounts.  A large portion of the spam content, though not all, was anonymous.  Requiring a Google login gets rid of that, at the cost of making anyone who really wants to post anonymously here put together a fake account.  Like, um, a spammer would.
  • Turn CAPTCHA back on and go back to the inconvenience that entails.
  • Turn on moderation and review comments by hand.  Comments would not show up until I happened to check through them, which would probably be somewhat more often than I actually post.
For now, I'm trying the second option.  If you want to post a comment, you'll have to be logged in to your Google account, but that doesn't seem like a showstopper.  Almost all of the legitimate comments here are from logged-in users.  Again, if you feel the need to post anonymously, I'm sure you'll know what to do.

If that doesn't at least keep it down to a dull roar, I'll probably go with moderated comments.  Re-instating CAPTCHA would be a last resort.