Fighting web comment spam continues to be a major issue with popular blogs. We installed the ‘akismet’ tool for WordPress on January 2, 2006, and by July 14 it had trapped over 10,000 spams. Today? Over 80,000 trapped spams, and barely a dozen false positives. If not for Akismet, comments would be almost impossible to maintain.
We use a site-recommender tool for our “Spread the Word” links, and on Friday we discovered (the hard way, of course) that it, too, could be misused by an innovative spammer. The spammer included links to other sites in the “message” segment. So I wrote a short code snippet that traps links to sites (href) and images (img) and included it in our code.
I then forwarded it to the creators of the SiteRecommender. Tonight’s email included a note back from them that they’ve incorporated my code and issued a version upgrade of the recommender.
Isn’t Open Source great? Of course it is — the Talmud was the first Open Source document. You knew there was a Jewish hook in here somewhere…