Observant and long-time readers will certainly have noticed “spam” comments popping up frequently in Troppo’s “most recently commented posts” sidebar. I say “observant” readers because the spam never lasts very long. I delete it as soon as I see it, and that’s always within an hour or two unless it gets posted in the middle of the night. Some of the spam consists of links to what appear to be some fairly repulsive porn sites, while much of it is flogging assorted dodgy pharmaceutical drugs. Then there’s Yobbo’s charming mates in the online poker industry; they’ve tried to spam Troppo no less than
4045 times in the last 24 hours (and 16 times in the current 24 hour period which was less than 7 hours old when this post was updated at 4.15pm CST) but been blocked by the MT Blacklist facility. I wonder why he sees fit to host an ad for these sorts of arseholes on his blog?
To give readers an idea of the scale of spam we’re talking about, in addition to the 61 blocked poker spam comments I’ve added
1415 spam messages from the comment boxes. In some respects it’s a minor irritation, but it does take time I’d prefer to be devoting to something more productive and detracts significantly from the enjoyment of blogging. More seriously, I understand that the MT Blacklist script slows down our web host’s server speed to a significant extent when it’s working hard (as it has been in the last 24 hours to exclude the high volume of spam targetted at us), and could conceivably result in drastic action by the web host if it continues.
Scott attempted to implement a fix a couple of weekends ago, that involved several measures including a Turing Code prerequisite to posting all comments (similar to the system operating at Catallaxy). Unfortunately Scott had problems implementing the scripts, and hasn’t had time to return to the task since then due to pressing personal issues. I’m confident the problem will be fixed in the fairly near future, and in the meantime I hope readers will bear with us. Is there anyone out there who’s familiar with implementing Turing Code scripts on Movable Type blogs, and who could help Scott when he is able to get back to the problem?
BTW If you’re idly curious about why the spammers bother doing this, apparently it has little or nothing to do with hoping blog readers will click through and order porn or Viagra (or play poker) per se. What they hope to achieve is a higher “PageRank” in the ubiquitous Google search engine. Google allocates search prominence to websites largely by how many other sites have linked to them, so that a large enough deluge of spam comments over lots of blogs can have a big effect on the spammer’s site’s Google ranking, which in turn means lots of customers. As I’d prefer not to be a semi-helpless pawn of the porn industry, I’m hoping the Turing Code will be implemented pretty soon.