I’ve been getting quite a bit of blog comment spam the past few days. When someone leaves a comment, I currently receive an email. It’s a nice feature of BlogEngine.NET which is the blogging software I currently use to power this site.
After 3 years of mostly clean comments, apparently I’m now the target of an automated spammer called a bot in the techie world. It leaves your inbox looking like this:
In the course of a few minutes you can receive hundreds of these.
So now you’ve got multiple problems:
- Clean out your email inbox.
- Stop this from happening on your blog.
- Do it in a manner that isn’t annoying to users that want to leave comments.
- Clean out the spam on your blog.
Clean out your email inbox
Not sure if there’s a better way to do this but shift clicking and or selecting all and clicking delete. Using gmail this wasn’t too painful.
Stop this from happening
It had been awhile since I’ve upgraded the BlogEngine.NET code. I think 2 years. I was one 1.2 and they are now on 1.5. First step was upgrade.
The latest version of BlogEngine.NET has the ability to add Extensions. I was hoping that there would be some kind of spam management built into the engine but there is not.
One method would be to turn on comment moderation. I don’t want that. That means every single comment, good or bad, would need me to click and ‘OK’ button before it gets posted. Sounds like work and I want automation.
Unfortunately there isn’t a clear list of extensions available for BlogEngine.NET. Sure there’s an extensions page on their website but the list is certainly not complete and some of the links are link dead. In particular, of the two ‘Anti-Spam’ extensions, SpamFighter is link dead and Akismet Anti Spam is outdated. With some googling, I found an extensions project on CodePlex, that however has gone stale, the last release over 1 year ago.
I finally found one that was somewhat recent called AkismetExtension (initial post|update). It basically uses a service to check the body of the comment for spam and if it passes then it posts. Ok fine. Sounds good for now. I’ll have to see how it pans out.
In the mean time the only change you the user should see is a new blog style.
Do it in a manner that isn’t annoying to users that want to leave comments
My wife was looking to leave a comment on blogger and I’m sure you’ve all seen those images where you have to figure out what the word is from some image. She could not read it. I could barely make it out.
How many users get turned away from using that method?
I also don’t want to have to do registration or force moderation, etc.
Compounding this is two types of spam. Automated spam and spam from someone who is actually paid to manually add a spam comment. I have been getting these for some time but the volume is very low so it’s easy to delete these.
Clean out the spam on your blog
Now I have to individually delete each spammed comment on blog. This is going to be pretty tedious. Logged into the blog, I get a few extra LinkButtons that you normally don’t see. Like the IP address of the comment, the users email and a Delete option.
I’ve left a post lamenting the lack of comment management tools in BlogEngine.NET.
Looks like I have some work to do…