Spam According to Larvatus Prodeo

Larvatus Prodeo is probably the most active and widely read outfit in ozplogistan, and certainly by the numbers it must be the leading member of the the Terrible Trio. You can imagine that they have to put up with a lot of spam.

LP have just published a guide to how they handle it which makes for interesting reading.

One difference we have with LP is that at Club Troppo, in addition to using both WordPress and Akismet spam & moderation functions, we use the excellent Spam Karma 2 plugin. Spam Karma 2 works by applying a series of tests to each comment and adding or deducting “karma” based on each test. Some tests look at blacklists, others look at whitelists, another test bases scores on how often a person has commented at Club Troppo, and so on. There’s even a test which asks Akismet for an opinion.

I installed SK2 after Akismet began to eat comments from our own authors. I still have no idea why since Akismet is a black box arrangement, ostensibly to stop spammers from beating it too easily. Personally I find the combination useful, since I am able to tweak the weightings of each test. On this blog authors are given carte blanche by Spam Karma 2, which is only sensible; especially since Akismet seems to have some kind of insane vendetta against skepticlawyer.

Another thing I do more and more these days is to go into the archives and switch off comments for stories which attract spam. In theory I can turn up the weighting of the “old posts” test on SK, but for now the problem is contained enough that I err on the side of allowing casual comments on old stories. We’re north of 3100 posts since 2003, so there’s lots for people to discuss.

Anyway. Go have a look at the LP page. As usual it’s well laid out and well written. I endorse it and would like to say that generally the same things apply here too.

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3 Responses to Spam According to Larvatus Prodeo

  1. Tim Lambert says:

    I found that running Bad Behavior as well as SK2 works a treat. BB kills 90% of spam before it even gets to SK2, so your spam bucket is much easier to check.

  2. Niall says:

    Maybe I’m too picky, but I hardly ever open LP. Seriously, I don’t see much of content there. I’m a CT person, which is a big call, given that I don’t read blogs as a rule.

  3. Jacques Chester says:

    Tim;

    Thanks for the referral on Bad Behavior. I thought it was a SK2-like arrangement, but it seems to intercede earlier in the process. I’ve installed it and hopefully it’ll make my life a little easier.

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