Sun, 26 Oct 2003
This is another Bill Thompson article, and actually not too bad. This is a problem that it is worth publicising, and thankfully he does not propose some sort of really drastic method of "solving" it.
I can think of two ways make it harder for spammers to spam your comments pages of your blog (except for my current solution of not allowing people to comment on it directly, by rather through email). I don't think that it will be impossible to allow people to post automatically without allowing spam in.
- Use non-standard blog software - the spammers are likely to write software to automatically post to the standard software, but if yours is different it will be more effort for them. For example you want to name the fields things other than "Name", and "Comment".
- Ask humans to enter the text displayed in an image. At the moment it is probably sufficient for this to be in a clear font, so that you don't filter the old and partially sighted too, or even those not used to reading the same character set as you. When the spammers catch up with this in the inevitable arms race, then you might have to protect it from OCR applications.
Another possible suggestion would be to make it easier to mark posts as spam, so that they can be remvoed quickly. For example unchecked messages could have a "this is spam" button (such as on the articles in gmane), that removes them from view and puts them into a holding area where they can be checked by someone trusted. Once a message has been marked as non-spam, another trivial thing to do, but something that should be restricted to someone trusted (for example the Blog owner, and possibly regular posters). This just requires a bit of effort to be put into the infrastructure, and thinking about it in order to make it easy enough to use.
Last updated: 12:08, 26 Oct 2003 Link..