Comment Spam Ban

Judging by the number of blog anti-spam utilities; the
problem of blog comment spam seems to be wide spread.
Unfortunately, none of the utilities are perfect. All will have problems. My
own solution was to close comments after about five days
because, it appeared to me, the spammers had been targeting
older posts. Perhaps in the hope that I wouldn’t notice
them.

But, as time went on, the spammers altered their tactics
by targeting comments newer than five days. I even got some
for posts made that day (they must either monitor the various
blog aggregators or maybe they have bots that subscribe to
RSS feeds). At that point, I started using a MovableType
plug-in called
SpamLookup
. Among other things, it does the
following:

Filters inbound comments for all installed weblogs.
Filters inbound TrackBack pings for all installed
weblogs.
Checks IP address of sender against DNSBL services.
Checks mentioned domain names against SURBL services.
IP match test for TrackBack pings.
URL count limit.
Dynamic proxy checking.
Moderation word list.
Block word list.
Passphrase requirement for comments and/or TrackBack
pings.

So far, it seems to be doing a good job of keeping the bad
guys out while letting legitimate comments in.

I bring this up because yesterday, when trying to leave a
comment on another site, I got blocked from doing so. The
comment was to someone who had just purchased a new Motorola
Razr V3 cell/mobile phone. The comment I tried to leave is
below:

Whoooot! A black V3! They just recently began
officially selling those here in the US. While I like my
silver V3, there is something sexy about the color
black...[/drooling]

The only problem I've had with my V3 is that the
display screens are unusable when I'm outside and it's
sunny.

Otherwise, it works great for me.

Comment Submission Error

Your comment submission failed for the following
reasons:

Your comment was denied for questionable
content.

But as you can see, I got an error saying my comment was
“denied for questionable content.” Oh well, I guess my
content is sometimes questionable ;). But this is
the first time a computer confirmed it!

To test if my version of SpamLookup would give a similar
result, I copied my comment into my own weblog.
Interestingly, SpamLookup didn’t find anything wrong and let
the comment through.

Be clear, I’m not complaining about anything. Comment spam
is a very difficult problem to solve and no automated system
will be correct 100 percent of the time, including
SpamLookup. So, I guess, I shouldn’t be surprised if
different configurations give different results.

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