A comment about comments

There has been a dramatic increase in spam comments being posted to this blog – typically I’m getting 70 or so every month making it past whatever filter has been deployed by the blog’s host. In the past these have been easily dealt with – the content of the spam was obvious, and I could whip through the comments and typically delete all of them.

However, more recently the attacks have become more wily and sophisticated. The spam contains complete sentences, sometimes seeming to agree with a point from one of my posts. Only the broken English and finally the address reported for the commenter indicate that these comments are not legitimate, and I can still easily identify and delete them.

Now it is true that I have maybe 4 readers of this blog – including my wife – and in the three years this blog has been here I’ve gotten about 3 comments that were worth posting. So I could just say no comments allowed, and have those who want to comment just call me – or better yet, walk down the hall and see me – to register their opinions. But there’s an outside chance that someone I don’t actually know may land here and be interested enough to want to start a discussion, so I would prefer to keep comments open.

It is also true that other blog sites might have better systems, with better filters. Yes, that may be true, but they also push advertising in the reader’s face, and not all of it (more likely any of it) would I find joy in supporting. Here there is virtually no advertising, and the host is highly trusted to only insert links which I enthusiastically support. I could complain to the host about the system, but since he offers it for free, and does so for the best of all intentions, I can’t bring myself to whine about his service.

Ok – the point of this story

If you are going to post a comment, please follow these rules.

  1. If you do know me personally, drop me an email elsewhere telling me you’ve posted a comment (I do want your comment here so I can post it and refer to it in the future. If for some reason you don’t want your comment posted publicly, just say so in the comment).
  2. Start the comment itself with your full name, then a -:-, and the title of the post your commenting on. That should be unique enough that the spam jackals won’t be copying it soon.
  3. If you make a grammatical or spelling error, it is very likely I’lldelete your comment. It amazes me that the spam jackalshaven’tfigured this out, but there has almost never been a spam email or comment that I’ve read that didn’t contain an error.

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