The Comment Spam Flood

Like other folks, I’ve been inundated with comment spam over the past weeks: since my last post, I’ve added over a hundred URLs to my blacklist, and have deleted over six hundred comment spams. Is it time to ditch Movable Type? Hm. I’ve got a workable Drupal install and a workable WordPress install, but I’m not sure. I’m using Jay Allen’s most excellent MT-Blacklist plugin, which is a community-based solution that hits back against comment spammers by blacklisting them, rather than ducking the spammers by presenting a small target, as Drupal and WordPress do. (I don’t want to make potential commenters register: to do so, I think, would curtail some of the more spontaneous and interactive qualities of weblogs.) Maybe it’s an Army thing, but I’m much happier calling in fire on the people who are shooting at me than I am just ducking their fire.

Anyway: sorry for the hiatus. Went down to DC for my cousin’s wedding this past weekend (having one’s clan out on the dance floor and all singing along to Hank Junior’s “Family Tradition” is a fine thing; a raw bar at the reception with oysters and clams on the half-shell is even finer) and got to hear all sorts of wonderful gossip about the misdeeds of the children of national political figures past and present (c’mon, I’m dying to share: email me for the dirt on whose kids did what), and then this week was midterms week with student conferences, and, uh, well: How ’bout them Red Sox?

Yes, on Thursday, there were some class attendance issues. The students who actually made it to class related stories of trees set on fire, swimming in the nasty campus goose-poop pond, being strafed by police capsaicin bullets, and running from police helicopters. Ah, college life.

I’ve taken all my weblog entries, edited out the irrelevant stuff, and tried to hang them — sequentially — on the bones of the prospectus. It took a while, and I’m pretty happy with the results: so far, I have 75 single-spaced pages of good dissertation material, for which I need to fill in the gaps. Somebody give me a high five, wouldja?

And, yes, finally, the girls have settled down.

The Comment Spam Flood

8 thoughts on “The Comment Spam Flood

  • October 23, 2004 at 1:07 am

    Swooooop, too slow… (Sorry that’s my doctrine and I can’t let go of it or the little dudes’ll beat me.)

    Glad to see you back and happy to hear your girls are better.

    Did you cry at the wedding?

  • October 23, 2004 at 2:27 am

    Nope, didn’t cry at the wedding, but I came close, because the Matron of Honor (who was the bride’s best friend) got all choked up during her toast, and she started sobbing, and all of us listening started getting all choked up too. But we applauded and made her finish, which she did, smiling, through the tears.

    See, it wasn’t just that the bride was moving away to be with the groom. It was that the groom was a sailor, shipping out on the USS Ronald Reagan for the next 18 months.

    And we sang (well, sort of, and I hope you’ll pardon the paraphrase),

    Mike why do you drink? Why do you roll smoke?
    And why must you live out every story you wrote?
    Over and over everybody makes my predictions
    So if I get stoned, I’m just carrying on
    An old family tradition

    I am very proud of my Daddy’s name
    Although his kind of music and mine ain’t exactly the same
    Stop and think it over; put yourself in my position
    If I get stoned and sing all night long it’s a family tradition.

    So don’t ask me, Mike why do you drink?
    And why do you roll smoke?
    And why must you live out every story you wrote?
    If I’m down in a honky-tonk some old slick’s trying to give me friction
    I say leave me alone if I’m singing all night long it’s a family tradition.

    Lord I’ve loved some ladies, and I have loved Jim Beam
    And they both tried to kill me in 1993
    When that doctor asked me, Son how did you get in this condition?
    I said Hey sawbones, I’m just carrying on an old family tradition

    So don’t ask me Mike why do you drink,
    And why do you roll smoke?
    Why must you live out the stories you wrote?
    Stop and think it over, try and put yourself in my unique position
    If I get stoned and sing all night long, it’s a family tradition.

  • October 23, 2004 at 5:58 pm

    Congratulations on the dissertation progress. A high five AND two thumbs up.

    Congratulations on the peace that rules your apartment. Isn’t is amazing how such small creatures can turn things upside down?

    And how about those SOX? Yesterday, I wore a Curt Schilling Tshirt to work (read my blog on clean laundry) , and when I walked into class, my two die-hard Yankees fan students ( who had also had mysterious illnesses last week) muttered behind my back “God! She’s throwing it in our faces!” And they were serious!

    Lordy, as my Aunt Tisha used to say. Lordy, Lordy, Lordy.

  • October 23, 2004 at 10:19 pm

    You DID all sing that?!!! I love it, I love it. I always cry at weddings. I don’t mind but since I typically bother with make-up at weddings, it’s impractical, but I can’t help it.

    A wedding and ensuing separation: I can’t believe you escaped tearless. I have truly embarrassing photos of wedding partings. But at least I went with Brit.

  • October 23, 2004 at 10:23 pm

    ps jim beam tried to kill me too, circa 1999, though, which unfortunately doesn’t rhyme with the lyrics.

  • October 25, 2004 at 2:57 am

    High Fives all around, Mike–for you (dissertation), Tink and Zeugma (truce), and the Sox (red).

  • October 29, 2004 at 1:00 pm

    FYI: You might have seen this already, but Drupal’s got captcha now for user registration, and I’m guessing (though not sure) it might be tied into anonymous commenting. That’s a guaranteed way to stop the robot spammers.

  • November 1, 2004 at 1:25 am

    I’m told spammers get around captcha by routing it through logins for dirty pictures.

    I don’t find much suggesting that this is a common technique, and at least you’d only get dedicated, professional spammers, since it requires server resources from them to provide the pictures.

    I can’t think of a way to charge picture websites for providing captcha frontends.

    But, while I’m being dweeby; one, the spammer blacklists should be sharable between any kind of blog installation; two, at least one of the open-source varieties also has trainable Bayesian spam filtering (dunno about setup); and three, surely calling in fire is too strong a metaphor for blacklisting? Calling in fire is at least the original Blackhole DNS list; this has fallen out of favor for some decent reasons.

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