I’ve complained about comment spam before, but the problem has really swollen out of all proportion over the past two weeks. Because the phenomenon is relatively new, Movable Type has no simple mechanism for handling it, other than to ban IPs (or entire triplets). Deleting comments and rebuilding posts is cumbersome.
This weekend, one of the J-School’s blogs, bIPlog, got hit hard, and a student spent hours deleting Lolita comments. In the nick of time, Jay Allen released MT-Blacklist, which totally supersedes his previous MTMacro solution. Comes with a database of 450 known evil URLs and ability to post your updated blacklist to a known location for automated sharing. Also modifies the comment emails that MT generates to include an additional “de-spam” link – clicking it lets you delete the comment, rebuild the page, and add the spammer to your blacklist all at once. If you’re running multiple blogs from one installation, you can turn MT-Blacklist on or off for any arbitrary subset of them.
Installing MT-Blacklist on birdhouse and on the J-School today felt triumphant — as if the whole episode had been a battle between good and evil, and evil was winning… until the Megatron DDT Squirtation Assembly arrived to vaporize all the cock-a-roaches.
I would like to have Jay Allen’s baby. He is a god.
On the normal spam front, I like this idea: Filter That Fight Back. Short version: create client-side spam filters that purposely follow/spider every link in a spam. Spammer sends out a million emails an hour, they get in return with a million hits an hour. “The branch snaps back in their face.” Punish them with the traffic they’re looking for. Crush them with it. Very Tae Kwon Do.