The battle against spam

It appears we have made progress in the battle against spammers. Recently we noticed an increase in “feedback” spam, i.e. spam submitted on our contact form.

Besides comments on our articles, we do allow people to contact us privately through our contact form. This feedback is different from comments, in that the former are not publicized on the site.

Nevertheless, spammers do not seem to understand the difference between comment forms and feedback forms, as they submit the same type of spam to our feedback form as to our comment forms.

Unlike email spam, the purpose of comment spam is two-fold. First, comment spammers want to get visitors to visit their sites. Second, they want the get a higher indexing on search engines by multiplying the number of links to their sites. Comment spammers do not care about the site owner at all.

For that reason, feedback spam does not make any sense. Whatever is submitted to our contact form, remains private – unless there is explicit permission for this. Hence submitting spam this way, is completely meaningless for spammers.

However, feedback spam is annoying to us. So we have thought about a way to reduce the number of feedback spam we receive daily. We have come up with a simple and elegant measure.

We have included an additional required field which has to be filled before a feedback message can be submitted. This is a simple check box (“This is not spam”). The idea is that spambots do not expect this additional required field, and hence will fail to check it and consequently are unable to submit their spam.

Over the last 24 hours, since we implemented this measure, we have received zero feedback spam. This is a significant reduction.

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10 thoughts on “The battle against spam”

    1. We get about 100 to 150 spam comments on this site daily. What amazes me most, is that they still continue to submit spam, while they can know that akismet keeps most of those out.

            1. I won’t worry. 🙂 I thought about reblogging one of Mordanicus’ posts and impress my followers. But then I thought he might bring his spammy friends with him, so decided against it. 😦

              1. You have probably set your spamfilter on “strict” – which means that most spam comments are silently deleted. Till yesterday we used the save option for our spam filter – which means all detected spam are put in the spam folder for manual inspection. On fascinating future the spam filter was already on strict, which explained why there was much less spam there.

              2. I wouldn’t have any idea how or where to set the spam filter. 😦 I always check spam as I have found some regular followers’ comments there for no apparent reason.

              3. >>I wouldn’t have any idea how or where to set the spam filter.

                See: dashboard>>settings>>discussion

                >>I have found some regular followers’ comments there for no apparent reason.

                Yeah, that happened to me a couple of times. I remember that at least Makagutu was once trapped into spam.

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