Controlling Spam

Annika Backstrom
in Meta, on 1 September 2005. It is tagged and #Spam.

The fight against comment spam continues. My blessing feature works really well, and while it's still somewhat cumbersome to bless a comment, at least it's doing its job. Still, though, there was one nagging problem that I needed to take care of: the delay between spam comment postings and their eventual deletion.

When my blog gets spammed, I'm responsible for those outgoing links. I authorized the anonymous comments, I let the link show up, and, while I have every intention of deleting the spam, it's still going to sit there for hours or days, possibly in view of an indexer. I'm not cool with that. Nofollow would fix my problem, but it's not in my release of WordPress. I plan on upgrading in the near future, but it will be a task, and I'm not ready for it yet. Instead, I'm leveraging my "blessed" attribute to decide which comments can and cannot use HTML.

New functionality is as such: by default, all comments are not blessed. The poster's name will not link to his website even if he provided a URL, and all HTML will be stripped from his comment. Hours pass. I find the comment and bless it. WordPress shields it from future comment cleansing, and enables the poster URL and tags. Simple. There is a period of time where the legitimate comments are somewhat crippled, but at least the content is present. Seems like a decent compromise to me.