__/ [Charles Sweeney] on Saturday 17 September 2005 09:52 \__
> Roy Schestowitz wrote
>> You can never filter comment spam perfectly
> Correct. It's pointless even trying.
> I have a house-sales site where prospective buyers can contact sellers.
> Naturally this attracts comment spam (is this the same thing we are
> talking about here, or is comment spam about guestbooks, blogs?).
> I allow any user to send five messages (they might have a legitimate
> reason to do this) thereafter I block them based on several criteria. I
> issue a notice for genuine users to contact me if they need to make more
> As with everything, there are ways around it, but it involves a little
> bit of work on the spammer's part, and so far it has worked for me.
> An alternative in my case is to use a system like ebay's, whereby only
> registered users can contact sellers. This is the last ting I would
> want to do. It would be too much of a chore for a user to register just
> to ask a question. You don't have to register with a newspaper to
> contact an advertiser.
> For me, the only solution might be to have a human review messages
> before the lister gets them. This is expensive, but what's the
> alternative? I also have doubts about the legality of this.
> To answer my own question, a lister could use a throw-away email
> address, and just accept the spam. Obviating the need to monitor it.
> As for guestbooks, I now review all entries on mine before posting them.
> For forums, one has to accept the spam, and use moderators to delete it
> on site.
(Corrected (Charles): This might be technically correct, but I meant to
write "delete it on sight"!)
The way I see it, there are several forms of spam nuisance:
1) Spam does not appear, but requires moderation (i.e. Webmaster's time)
2) Spam shows up in site/sight and spammer gets rewarded; message deleted
3) Spam protection is effective, but kills genuine contributions
4) Spam protection mechanisms deter feedback, e.g. CAPTCHA, message length
There are more, but I think it's enough for the sake of the argument.
Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com | SuSE Linux | PGP-Key: 74572E8E
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