Tips On How To Deal With Anonymous Comment Spam
Have you ever experience being flooded with anonymous comments? If yes, then chances are you have been a victim of comment spam. As with everything on the Internet, spam had also evolved. They are no longer limited to email. Today they can infiltrate and cause havoc in your blogs and Web sites, on which you allow user to leave comments. Comment spam is becoming a serious problem nowadays, which needed to be resolved immediate. Just what are the reasons behind comment spam? Well, it is to increase their, or in the case of those so-called professional spammer their clients', ranking in search engines.
You see today, in ranking pages most search engines consider how many other Websites have linked to it. Thus, by leaving comments on your site the spammers' sites can achieve a slightly higher search engine ranking. So what do you do? Well, first things first – do not take it personally. There are two approaches that you can use in order to stop comment spam. The first one is to learn how to tell the difference between spammers and regular users.
Now this would involve require your posters to identify themselves. This would be an extra step included in the commenting process. This is the most popular approach in avoiding comment spam, and has two options. The first is called the “Turing Test”. The most commonly used is called the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart or simply CAPTCHA. It entails adding to your site's comments area an image that contains a random piece of text. The text must be somewhat mottled or blurred so that a human can read it and is not discernible by a computer. The commenter is asked to copy this text exactly into a form field prior to submitting the form. This process makes it easy to determine that the commenter is indeed a person, and not a bot. However, you still face the problem of a human being spamming your comments section manually.
Another drawback in this kind of approach is that users are forced to perform an extra step in order to submit comments, which might deter some people. This can be a serious problem, particularly if your website is relatively new and are trying to encourage people to comment. The second option is to employ User Authentication. Here you will be requiring all users to set up a username and password before they can comment on the site. Once the administrator finds a user spamming the site, then he or she can ban that username or email address. This approach works in two ways; one is that spammers do not want to be identified and therefore will avoid signing up. Second is that even if they do sign up, they would have to take the time to sign up in order to spam and then be banned immediately. Although it might sound complicated since it is code-driven, this solution involves a database of users and simplified user management, therefore it will not take too much of your time. However, banning usernames might take some time. As for the disadvantages, there are some.
This way you can check and make sure that they are not spam. You also have the option to automate the process. All you need to do is create a list of keywords that are common to spam. Then check each post against this list. With this you can then weed out any comments that contain the offending words, such as gambling, poker, meds and so on. This comparison can be done in numerous ways and at a number of points during comment processing. Most programming languages usually makes it easy to check a string for given keywords. Just make sure that the string's case is also compared. How do you do this? Easy, just convert the string to lowercase or uppercase before you run the comparison.
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