raising the bar

By anders pearson 02 Mar 2005

we haven’t had much of a problem with comment spam here on thraxil.org. there have been a couple half-assed attempts but nothing like the 500 attempts at a time several times a week that i’ve seen at other sites like mfr and pretty much any popular movable type or wordpress powered blog with open comments is likely to see.

what we have had a bit of a problem with ever since i opened up comments is with… well… bored idiots. i delete them when i spot them, but there seems to be a surprisingly large population out there of people who land on thraxil via some google search or another and see the comment box as an open invitation to spew their garbage all over us. thraxil used to be a little island of intelligent discussion on the web and i’d like it to get back to that. garbage piling up everywhere doesn’t make for that kind of environment; it just attracts cockroaches and rats.

so i’ve made it a little harder to litter here. now, when you post a comment, it will ask you a very simple question which you will have to answer correctly for your comment to go up. anyone who’s been here a while will already know the answer. anyone new who really wants to contribute should be able to figure out the answer without much effort. but it’s some effort, and that should hopefully be enough to keep out the trash. if it proves to be too easy, i’ll raise the bar even higher. you’ll only be asked the question the first time you post from a particular browser, after that it will remember you and everything will work just like it used to.

(i don’t expect this to really block any comment spam; thraxil’s relative obscurity and the fact that it’s not built on a common weblog engine do more to prevent spam than any code i could write. )

Tags: idiots spam meta comments