Attack of the spam, the spam strikes back!

Today marks another chapter in my ongoing battle with keeping the comments on this blog spam free.

As the internet stands right now, there’s a bit of a catch-22 in place.

The good part is that the more interesting and worthwhile you make your service and content, the more people that notice and benefit from it.

The bad part is that the more people who notice your content or service, the more the spammers take notice and start to attack.

The really really bad part is that the spammers are good at what they do, and so they don’t just attack the top traffic generators. No. They attack anyone and everyone they can find. After all, the more they spam, the better chance they have at selling whatever junk it is they are selling! It’s just a numbers game for them.

Anyway, the problem continues for the rest of us. How to allow for real conversations without being drowned by all the spam?

I’ve already gone the route of requiring a captcha for anyone that tries to put a link into the comments…and I know I could lock down comments to just registered users, or I could require message approval, or I could just close comments down after a certain point…but I don’t really like any of those options because they all punish the real people trying to leave real comments just as much as the spammers.

So today I started thinking about what other options I had…and what I came up with seems like it might be an interesting idea to try…if I ever get time to try and implement it that is.

So here’s the idea:

Step 1: Use a semantic algorithm (like the one semantichacker.com has) for each of my posts to generate a list of topics that the post is about.

Step 2: Pass each comment through the same semantic algorithm. If any of the same topics occur for the comment as the main post, automatically allow it to be published. If no categories match, flag the comment as needing to be approved before it gets published to the general public.

That’s it. That’s the idea.

Like I said, I think it would be interesting to see if it really worked…that is if I ever get time to play with it.

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This is the personal blog of Kevin Marshall (a.k.a Falicon) where he often digs into side projects he's working on for digdownlabs.com and other random thoughts he's got on his mind.

Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.

If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).