Monday, August 29, 2005

Fighting Comment Spam

Last week was apparently the week of "spambots crawling Blogger". It's not unusual for me to see a dozen or so posts in an hour on a Skeptics' Circle Thursday, but I had a rush last week that seemed unusual. Checking the details on my hit counter showed the symptoms of some kind of automated program crawling through weblogs. Apparently, the spambots were on the move, and they left a half dozen spam comments on the Saga. I cleaned those out, but I wasn't sure what to do to prevent future infestations. I didn't want to go back to requiring readers to register with Blogger before commenting.

But Blogger apparently saw this kind of problem coming, and they've taken action. I'm not sure when they implemented it, but they've made "word verification" an option for comments. I've turned that on, so now when you want to enter a comment, you'll have to type a word that appears as an image on the screen in the comment form. Word verification should keep the blog safe from spambots until some jackass invents an image-recognizing bot that can read words in images and type them in the appropriate field on a form.

No comments: