Die Spammers! Die! Part 2

Wow! I don’t know what to do with myself. Normally when I get up in the morning, I have to check all the spam Akismet caught to see if there were any false positives. However, thanks to the implementation of yesterday’s spam countermeasures, there was just one new spam to delete! Shortly after making last night’s post, I added two more countermeasures to really can the spam.

Kill Tor Anonymous Proxies

Many spammers send out their spam through tor proxies to hide their tracks. By denying access from these proxies, you prevent spammers from being able to comment spam your blog. It also means normal people using a tor proxy are blocked out as well, so you’ll have to weigh the pro and con of doing this.

Proxy.org maintains a blacklist of known tor proxies used by spammers. Copy the list to your .htaccess file and you’ll deny a ton of comment spammers from accessing your site. Credit goes to Shoemoney for this tip.

Shut Down Comments To Old Posts

The first comment spam I ever got was done to an old post that had gone to page two. Comment spammers like to target older posts because the search engines have indexed them and you may not see it since the posts are no longer on the front page. The way to prevent this is to shut down comments after a set number of days. You can do this manually but the easier method would be to use a Plugin.

timeout.jpg

Comment Timeout is a Plugin that will automatically disables comments on older blog entries after a certain period. It also gives you an option to keep comments open for longer periods when there is an ongoing discussion. The Plugin is extremely easy to install and use. Right now, I have the Plugin set to disable comments on all posts older than 20 days but you can set whatever value you feel is appropriate.

The combination of all these new spam countermeasures has reduced the number of comment spam I get each day to single digits. I can now concentrate on producing content instead of checking through the hundreds of comment spam that I normally get.


22 thoughts on “Die Spammers! Die! Part 2”

  1. Leftblank says:

    Nice list, thanks John. However, only the proxy lists really interests me as I’m not using WordPress to blog with, very interesting nonetheless 😉

  2. Jane says:

    I am using wordpress and all the info is VERY useful! Thanks!

  3. Alex Becker says:

    Both of those should come in handy. And to answer your question on what to do now that you don’t have to delete spam ,I say LIVE, LIVE John.

  4. Rod says:

    John – thanks very much for this. I’m going to implement this plugin.

  5. I had a comment all typed up and overlooked the question above, as I haven’t read your other post on spam measures I am guessing this is part of that.

    So I came back after receiving the message that I didn’t answer the question and my original comment is gone. Oh well, I don’t like it but I can understand why you have implemented it.

      1. Thanks John, great to see such a timely response and I now see that I wasn’t the only one to goof on this.

  6. Doesn’t Akismet 2.0 do what the Comment Timeout plug-in does? I haven’t tried it myself but I believe I read that you can set Akismet to disable comments to e.g. posts that are over a month old.

    1. John Chow says:

      I couldn’t find anything like that in the Akismet options. I can’t even find the Akismet options setting. 🙁 I look all over the WordPress but see nothing for it.

    2. Jane says:

      It’s amazing what you can do with WordPress. I’m liking all these plug-in options more and more. As everyone hears of new ones, please keep them coming!

  7. Marc says:

    I like the plugin. The feature that lets a popular post go beyond 20 days provided people continue to comment is an important one. When I started reading, that was my immediate concern as I currently have one of those wierd threads where every couple of days, someone posts a comment.

    This plugin looks really useful. I’ll go dig it up after my 2.1 upgrade.

  8. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the alert box. About time. 😀

    These spam posts made me look back at a site I have a PHPBB forum on… I don’t do much with it because there are literally hundreds of spam accounts created daily. Not that many, but at least 10 I would imagine! Those really add up after a while… anyway, come to find out the default captcha for PHPBB is very weak and easy to get around! After installing a new captcha I’ve had no accounts try to be created by spam bots. What a relief!

  9. Ryan says:

    Uhm, did my comment get ate by Akismet?!

  10. Kenric says:

    I don’t know about the 20 days comment thing. The key to a high traffic blog is that your posts stand the test of time. For example, the article about 0% credit cards can be good for years. Disabling comments on those posts is like locking a popular forum topic.

  11. Doug Karr says:

    Don’t comments on old posts revive those posts for search engines to reindex? I’m not sure I want to cut off old posts for commenting if it’s still a quality article that draws attention… especially if some user generated content is added.

    Thoughts?

  12. HMTKSteve says:

    I used to have a very large spam comment problem but one day, it just stopped.

    I have always set my blog to allow comments to go through when a post is 7 days old or newer unless it has links in it. If the comment has links then it must be moderated.

  13. Raghu says:

    I am really loving these plugins that are provided by wordpress – am waiting to move over from blogger when I can implement all these plugins

  14. Raghu says:

    Ever since John introduced this new threaded comment plugin I have been facing one problem

    1. I come into the site make a few comments and get out.
    2. Others come in and provide responses to my comments
    3. When I come back I would be more interested in seeing if people have left ‘responses’ to my comments

    But the sorry part is that there is no way I can do that. I need to open every blog post and check the comments section

    If this a possible plugin idea ?

  15. clvezlys says:

    While I do like the idea of disableing comments for posts older then x days, I still think it’s not the best way out. You have quite a popular blog. Most people actually want to read as much as they can. And what if they want to comment too?

    Then again, you post quite frequent, so there’s plenty to read for the past 20 days. Still, I think disallowing people to comment on old articles is a bad thing.

    1. John Chow says:

      I’ve disable the comment timeout for now. If the other countermeasures do a good enough job of limiting the spam level then I’ll leave it off.

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