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Re: Site Spam Problems

  • Subject: Re: Site Spam Problems
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 14:27:45 +0100
  • Newsgroups: alt.www.webmaster
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <Xns96D3A7567FF08castleamber@> <1126919747.791817.219130@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> <Xns96D3DC82B73B2castleamber@> <dgg1gj$6uf$1@godfrey.mcc.ac.uk> <Xns96D4647D2A0B0mecharlessweeneycom@>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [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
> contacts.
> 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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