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I spend my mornings fighting spammers.
Posted Oct 25, 2010 - 9:46:57

SpamEach morning when I wake up, be it at 5:30am on a Monday or noon on a Saturday, the first thing I do is meander over to my computer. It's not to do something interesting like most of my reader's might do. It's not to check my email. It's not to check Facebook. It's not to check some niche forum I like to visit. It's not to get my morning news...

It's to check my website for spammers.

TRHOnline may not be a super popular website, but it's been around for a decade, so my links offer a decent weight in Google pagerank. This makes me a prime target for spammers. Spammers have forced me to lock down the fledgling blog service I tried to launch five years ago, they've forced me to install a myriad of defense measures to my registration system, and they're the very reason I chose to install a custom comment system on UnCONventional rather than use WordPress's default (and quite good) comments.

They are the bane of my existence.

And I've done a lot to fight them, but yet again in these last few months I've seen a major influx of spambots register on my website in numbers I haven't seen in years. I had it down to one or two a month, but now I'm deleting 5-10 accounts pre day. It's infuriating, and I'm trying to think of countermeasures to deal with it. Heck, I know for a fact that the next time I go out of town for a few days I'm going to lock down user registration just so I don't have to deal with spam posts when I get back.

Honestly, it gets so bad some days that I think I should just close down registration and only let people already here use the discussion forums. Of course, that's the LAST thing I really want to do... but it's gotten really that bad.

I wish there was just a simple solution. I wish there was a CAPTCHA that was unbeatable but still readable to humans. I wish there was a self filtering mechanism that could detect a spam bot's behaviors and kill it automatically. I wish there was a magic wand I could just wave and fix the whole damned thing.

...until then though, I shall continue to just keep deleting and banning. That seems like my only option right now at least.
- Traegorn

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