Monday, April 5, 2004

My Blog Has Fleas

I really dislike the word 'blog' as a stand in for weblog, but it fit the title, so be it.

I'm sick of the parasites. Sick I say. I allow comments on my weblog so that friends and family can add something to my posts. I even get useful posts from strangers now and then. Unfortunately, the overwhelming mass of comments are what is known as 'comment spam'. This is when someone posts a comment with a link to a commercial site. The comment itself is not related to the post, and is often total jibberish.

Why would anyone advertise their site on a little known weblog? It's Google's fault. Google rates the popularity of web pages by how many other pages link to it. This is the Pagerank algorithm. So spammers post comments on thousands of weblogs, and try to trick Google into believing their websites are popular.

I get between one and five of these faux commments every day, and it's very irritating. I've contemplated closing all comments on my website, but for now, the balance is still in favor of leaving them open. One comment from a friend, or a comment which leads to a new friendship (hi Pascale! hi Ky!) is worth a hundred of these flea bites.

That may not always be so. The frequency of spam comments is slowly increasing. Yesterday I upgraded my site to MovableType 2.661, which implements Comment Throttling. This prevents multiple comments from the same IP address more than once a minute. But of course since the comment spammers use virus driven PCs, the comments come from all over.

MovableType is coming out with a 3.0 version 'soon', which will allow comment approval. Then the only person who will have to see the spam is me. And I will have the satisfaction of denying the spammers access to my weblog entirely. Until then...

My Blog Has Fleaaaaaas!!!


  1. That's the one thing that I don't like about MT - the ease of spammy commentary >_

  2. True, but as I noted, MT3.0 will let me approve (or disapprove with extreme prejudice) every comment. I'll probably just wait for that.