Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Forums spam has really become a problem. For example, Google “OST Recovery” and look at all the crap posts that come up from everywhere. Over at PowerShell.org, we’ve been dealing with exactly those jerks – and we’ve recently come across a great weapon.

CleanTalk is a WordPress plugin that works in conjunction with WordPress’ own “Askimet” spam filter. CleanTalk is a bunch more aggressive, using a combination of heuristics and a blacklist to stop registrations of known spammers, as well as to stop suspicious-looking posts. A huge bonus is that it doesn’t add more CAPTCHAS or hurdles for legitimate users. Instead, when it wants to block something, it just does it – and displays something on-site so the affected user knows what happened. We’ve had remarkably few false positives since implementing it, and our spam rate has gone down to almost zero. It’s been a huge help – and if you run a site that can benefit from it, it gets my total thumbs-up.

Categories: Tech

2 thoughts on “Forums Spam is REALLY a Problem

  1. sumdog says:

    I’m really glad there are good solutions for forum/comment spam. I’ve had trouble running my own e-mail server as e-mail spam filters are insanely over aggressive:

    http://penguindreams.org/blog/how-google-and-microsoft-made-email-unreliable/

    It’s made e-mail into a totally unreliable form of communication. At least with forums, you see the post. You know it’s there (although there are some filters that make it look like it’s there to the IP that just submitted it while silently discarding it. Those aren’t very effective though as a second bot can come from another location to confirm what does and doesn’t get through).

  2. Don Jones says:

    Email -has- gotten difficult to rely on, and it’s not just Google and MS – many companies have their filters massively dialed up. We can barely even bother with email for communicating with Summit attendees, for example, and they WANT to hear from us.

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