This morning I logged in to find some jerk had posted four spam comments to various articles here. They were all identical:
Found this site on http://www.google.com - it is interesting to see that the most popular articles are the ones with quality, unique content. I have been trying to get my articles on the top board that advertise my Linux online poker website http://(deleted) and my Mac online poker website http://(deleted)but it just isn't happening :("
(I deleted the links he gave - I'm not giving him any free advertising!)
He probably would have tried to do more than those four, but I have a throttle in place that tracks time between comments and keeps a corresponding counter of minimum allowed time. That counter ratchets up exponentially with the number of comments made, so you just cannot make multiple comments in a row without waiting a long time in between.
You can make a comment post and then make another 10 seconds later. To make a third post, you need to wait 60 seconds. The fourth will be rejected if you haven't waited ninety seconds, and then we start getting really aggressive: ten minutes for the fifth, twenty for the sixth, and then more than 30 minutes for the seventh. That stops spammers like this from polluting dozens or hundreds of articles, but shouldn't bother someone who is actually reading pages and commenting on a couple.
What really irks me about these people is their stupidity. Did this guy really think that I would leave his junk here? Maybe so, but wouldn't you think that he'd have a little more creativity and not just post the same thing over and over?
I have other filters also: you can't just post links. I count the links and compare it to the amount of text and reject the comment if the ratio of links to text is too high. I also look for certain keywords (you know, *redacted*, etc.) and reject the comment if it contains any of those.
Finally, if someone has attempted abuse, their IP gets locked out for at least a few months. I unlock them eventually because the ip is often dynamic and there is no point in keeping the block.
So far, these controls have managed to keep us fairly free of comment spam, but I do have to manually delete a few now and then as I did this morning. I doubt the spammer reads this, but if he is, he should know this: I'm NOT going to let you post junk in comments. If you get by my controls, I'll delete you and ban you. If you come at me from another IP, I'll filter on the actual words you are trying to post: you WILL NOT get a free ride here.
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