Dealing with Comment Spam

If you have your own blog, you are probably familiar by now with the problem of “comment spam” — bottom-feeders trying to pump up their Google Page Rank by spraying their URL all over the comment section of your blog.

Movable Type users have long used Jay Allen’s MT-Blacklist as their first line of defense against this sort of thing. However, last week some hosting companies began complaining that MT and MT-B didn’t scale very well under very large volumes of comment spam, sucking up disproportionate amounts of system resource.

There’s now new versions of Movable Type (3.14) and MT-Blacklist (2.03 beta) out that address this issue, along with several others related to comment spam. If you’re running any version of MT 3, you should pick both of these up and get them installed ASAP.

Also, one other tip — I found before these were released that enabling the Apache module modsecurity on my domains cut down on the volume of comment spam I received dramatically. I have no idea how it did that, since I know just about nothing about modsecurity except that it has “security” in the name, but it really seemed to make a difference; and it didn’t break any of my scripts or cause any other untoward flakiness. Regardless of what blog software you use, if you’re hosting on Apache, you might want to speak to your sysadmin or Web host about how hard it would be to get mod_security working for you.