A Spam Free Morning

Tuesday, October 03, 2006, at 05:10AM

By Eric Richardson

It was a huge plus to wake up this morning and have no spam on either this site or blogdowntown. Typically I've been getting up and deleting 20 or 30 comments each morning, then maybe 10 or 15 through the course of the day. The new system I put in place yesterday seems to be doing the trick. In fact I've gone ahead and disabled the two other mechanisms I was using: banning selected words and maintaining a blacklist of IP addresses URLs weren't allowed to point to.

The failure notices for both blogs end up in the same log file so I can't tell you how this breaks out, but 344 comments have been denied since midday yesterday.

In figuring out how to attack the problem I really wanted to make it transparent to the commenter. captchas and things like that are ok (and are much better than requiring logins), but I'm not a fan.

Relying on the idea that spam scripts aren't running a javascript engine probably isn't future-proof, but it'll get the job done for a while. And if they were to add a JS engine your options for fighting get a lot wider.

Of course my spam-free morning ends the first time I open up my email. There it's a good 40 - 60 spam that have made it through Apple Mail's filters each morning. And that doesn't count the 100 or so that do get caught, plus the hundreds that get bounced by the greylist. Yuck.