Spam, spam, spam, spam


Because the previous installation of Movable Type did not have adequate protection against comment and TrackBack spam, this server was hit hard the past month.

This extraordinary problem required extraordinary measures, so I went through all of the comments myself and junked anything that was obviously spam.

  • 310 legitimate comments, 1034 spam comments
  • 4 legitimate TrackBacks, 843 spam TrackBacks

Please check your Junk Comments and Junk TrackBacks folders to make sure that I did not accidentally junk any legitimate feedback.

Henceforth, individual weblog authors will be responsible for keeping their sites free of advertisements for online poker sites, incest sites, bestiality porn, scat porn, and whatnot that may slip through the spam filter.

The new anti-spam filters do one of four things to entry feedback based on a numerical score that it assigns to potential spam.

  1. It blocks the comment or TrackBack.
  2. It lets it through and publishes the feedback on the individual archive page.
  3. It moderates the feedback. That comment or TrackBack has a yellow warning symbol beside it in the Comments (or TrackBacks) list. The weblog author must then manually publish the comment or TrackBack before it appears.
  4. It junks the feedback. The Comments page and the TrackBacks page have a link to a Junk Folder. Items in the Junk folder can be published or deleted. Items left in the Junk folders are automatically deleted after a period of time set by the weblog author (under Settings—>Feedback—>Junk; the default setting is 60 days.)

Individual weblog authors can customize the SpamLookup plug-in’s settings under Settings—>Plugins—>SpamLookup - Lookups, SpamLookup - Link, and SpamLookup - Keyword Filter.


Hi Mike,
I notice that comments now publish automatically to my blog. Should I be nervous about this? Are you so sure of the new anti-spam measures that you think it's OK to let the comments come up without screening? Is there a way to turn the approval mechanism back on?


There are plusses and minuses to allowing immediate feedback. Comments that post immediately might encourage more people to add comments. However, the occasional spam comment will slip though the filter, rather than being moderated or junked.

SpamLookup is definitely an improvement over previous anti-spam measures, however, you may have to adjust some of the settings on your individual blog until you are satisfied with the number of false positives versus the number of spam comments that slip though.

On at least one of your blogs, Donna, you did not have access to the blog settings on the left. I adjusted that. You should now be able go to Settings --> Feedback and change the "Immediately publish comments from:" from "Anyone" to a stricter setting.

Or, as mentioned above, you can instead adjust the Junk Threshold at the bottom of the same screen or fine tune the Junk settings by going to Settings --> Plugins and clicking on the Show Settings links to the right of the three SpamLookup components.

Why would people want to spam, does it really do any good.
Don't they know that they make people feel bad when they read their spam?

For many of the spammers, the money is just so good that they don't care who they hurt or offend.

And most of the weblog spammers don't actually care if anyone reads their posts, all they hope for is that search engine spiders see links on legitimate sites that point to their websites or their clients' websites, with the goal of improving their Google ranking.

Thankfully, on this MT installation, only a few hundred spam posts per month now get through our first line of defense. And less than one a week gets through our second line of defense, so most of our authors and visitors don't even see them.

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