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It’s not you, it’s the spammer

I have temporarily turned on comment moderation because I’m being blasted by a spammer. If your comment does not immediately appear, don’t fear! I will approve it as soon as possible, assuming you are not trying to sell me ringtones or prescription drugs.

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Mark • February 8, 2008 at 12:10 am

By “spam” do you mean spam (automated comments from a robot), or “troll comments” (manual comments from idiots or from that company in the Philippines that people hire for “SEO”)?

Spam is trivial to stop. Use Spam Karma 2 on WordPress, or the equivalent on whatever your blog platform is. It just works. This problem was solved years ago. We get hundreds of spam comments a day blocked, virtually zero false positives, absolutely zero false negatives.

I would have thought that the spam arms race would have caused Spam Karma 2 to stop working at some point, but it hasn’t.

If its a troll, get the IP address from the admin interface, and add a “Deny from” (or whatever the IP address is, masked) line in your httpd.conf file. Gone. Bye-bye.

You should never need to moderate unless you want to prevent trolls from even getting the first comment posted. Seriously.

PQ – It’s spam, not a troll. They’ve left 720 comments in the last 12 hours, most of which has been filtered, but some keeps getting through. My spam filter usually catches everything. If not, I just add keywords to catch it, but for some reason that is not working. (Like, it’s actually not blocking the keywords. Never happened before.) As for blocking IPs, spammers are smart enough to spoof their IPs, so that doesn’t work.


VerseFameBeauty • February 8, 2008 at 2:03 am

Alternatively, you could use Captcha for your comments, a free version of which I have heard is available from our wonderful friends at Google.

PQ – I hate captchas. I’ve entered information wrong into them so many times I’m convinced I’m a cyborg. Usually I can just tweak my spam filter to catch stuff, but for some reason it’s not working in this case.


Jill • February 8, 2008 at 8:33 am

Darn!! I was going to suggest you try this new prescription that blocks annoying ringtones in public places, but oh well… =)


megan • February 8, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Delurking to say:

I love this blog, especially the fruit and vegetable reviews. And also, I’ve never understood spammers recommending prescription drugs. Am I supposed to go to my doctor and say, “The internet says I should be taking XY and Z.” As though the internet knows better than my doctor?

PQ – The spam is usually for drugs people want to take recreationally or illegally, like viagra or oxycontin.


Heather • February 8, 2008 at 12:56 pm

megan — the idea is if they put it out there enough (spam), even if a low percentage clicks on the link or purchases the product, it adds up to significant amounts with really no investment.


megan • February 8, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Ah. That sort. Tends to have fabulous (nonsensical) subject lines when you get it in your email. Blog comments from the spammer make any sense?


Jenny • February 8, 2008 at 6:14 pm

I’m sorry. I’ll stop.



chubette • February 8, 2008 at 9:29 pm

I have been off fruit so long I am afraid to re-open the floodgate. Argh.


Dinah Soar • February 8, 2008 at 11:49 pm

This must be going around…my husband and a coworker got lots of spam at work and they never get spam…this is the first time…


weightlossguru • February 12, 2008 at 6:29 pm

you gotta use a Captcha… just make sure it keeps your visitor’s comments when they get it wrong as they invariably will! Good luck against the nasties!

PQ – Nope, not gonna’ do it. The spam has subsided for now. I did a different sort of tweaking to the spam filter and it seems to have worked for now.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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I'm linking to this because of the video of Harry Connick Jr. at the bottom, who manages to throw in an extra beat in the middle of a song to get people to start clapping on the offbeat without them even realizing. Mad skillz!


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