« SARS Flares in Canada | Main | The Origins of the Flu »

Spam in Blog Comments?

Via e-mail, David Smith writes:

A thought occurs -- what is to keep the spammers from placing advertisements into the comment sections of blogs. True, you can remove it --just like you can delete emails (oh joy). I notice that chat rooms on AOL have bots sending ad messages on a regular basis, what's to keep the same thing from happening here?

I can see it on Technorati now --

Hi, I'm Pam, and I Need a ...

Probably just a matter of time, and I may be a bit paranoid, as I have been thinking about crypto/security recently.

It's a good question. My off-the-cuff answer was to predict that blogging tools would incorporate challenge-and-response systems into their commenting systems.

Movable Type already includes IP banning, which could be a simple method of dealing with spam in comments. A more robust solution might look like this:

The Allow Comments menu item now has three settings: None, Open, and Closed. A fourth, Challenge, could be added. Each copy of MT would keep a database of approved e-mail addresses and associated IP addresses. When a user posted a comment, MT would check the poster's e-mail address and IP address against the database. If the e-mail address didn't appear, or if current IP address wasn't on file for the claimed e-mail address, the comment would be held while a challenge was sent to the e-mail address. A correct response would result in the comment being displayed and the e-mail address-IP address pair being entered in the database. If, though, a response wasn't received in a certain period -- say, 24 hours -- then the comment would be deleted.

Let's just hope this doesn't become necessary.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://boosman.com/blog-mt/mt-tb.fcgi/199

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Spam in Blog Comments?:

» Blog-commenting Spambots? from coldforged.org
A short while ago Frank posted an entry discussing the possible need for a challenge-response type of system to foil potential bots intended to spam comment sections in blogs. At... [Read More]

» Spam in comments from brokenclay.org :: journal
I got spammed in my comments, by someone from IP 61.181.5.155 (CHINANET Tianjin province network, administrative contact Dongmei Kou). I'm not quite sure what to do about it - I've banned the IP, but that's not going to help. It... [Read More]

Comments

Actually this is already starting to happen. I've received two spam comments on my own blog in the past 6 months. Obviously low signal-to-noise, but disturbing anyway. They were something along the lines of "That's very interesting. Check out my site at http://www.blob.org." And it would be a link to some ridiculously off-topic site, like mortgages or phone cards. Only a matter of time.

Interesting. Did you see any indication as to whether the comments were auto-generated? Blog-commenting spambots is the fear...

If you need any website or graphic design, or know someone that does, please visit http://www.ebbandflowdesign.com.

We look forward to bringing your ideas to reality!

******************************************

The above message is brought to you by Coca-Cola(tm). Have a Coke(tm) and a smile.

Sorry, never read the follow-up question.

Interestingly enough, got another one last night. You make the call on "blog-commenting spambot"...

"Nice blog."
Posted by zip code at June 9, 2003 01:34 AM

"zip code" is http://www.zipcodeworld.com.
E-mail address was given as "sahj2200@hotmail.com".

The only appearance of the posting IP address in my server logs is as follows:

219.95.3.200 - - [09/Jun/2003:01:34:02 -0400] "GET /cgi-bin/mt-comments.cgi?entry_id=93 HTTP/1.1" 200 9730 "-" "libwww-perl/5.69"
219.95.3.200 - - [09/Jun/2003:01:34:11 -0400] "POST /cgi-bin/mt-comments.cgi HTTP/1.1" 302 5 "-" "libwww-perl/5.69"

Note that I am currently on entry #228, so #93 is nowhere near front-page material. Sure smells like a bot of some kind to me. No referrer, gets right in to a very old entry... fishy.

Hello people! Nice site!
I'l be back... :)

There is a most interesting resource in the net! Thousands of users conversating at one time!
Beautiful girls and most glamour boys from all over the world! Come in faster! JOIN US. IT IS FREE. LETS TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING!
www.snegorod.com

There is a most interesting resource in the net! Thousands of users conversating at one time!
Beautiful girls and most glamour boys from all over the world! Come in faster! JOIN US. IT IS FREE. LETS TALK ABOUT EVERYTHING!
www.snegorod.com

Thank-you for allowing viewers to observe the efforts of many bright minds. Your site is educational and a pleasure to review.

Post a comment