Oh, shut up! Bloody Vikings!

If you post to blogs using your real e-mail, you’ll likely get more spam. It appears that the robots spammers use to harvest legitimate e-mail have been visiting the comment section of popular weblogs. This is not the fault of the blogger — even banning all robots will not help, since the spammers’ bots ignore this preference setting.

I use a free service called spamgourmet, which gives you disposable e-mail addresses and lets you set a limit on how many messages can be sent to it. It also lets you track the number of messages forwarded, how many can still be forwarded, and when the limit has been reached, how many have been “eaten.” It works quite well, and if you suspect that your e-mail address might be passed on to spammers, you can code the temporary e-mail address to indicate where the spammer got it.

Here are the results from blog comments:
David’s Medienkritik, 38 spam eaten since 9/25/03
The Kolkata Libertarian, 19 eaten since 6/4/03
Brad DeLong, 13 eaten since 4/22/04, a strong showing for such short time.

Again, I’d like to stress that it is no fault of these fine bloggers that spammers visit their comment section. This is just to advise you to be careful. Use disposable e-mail addresses or disguise your e-mail by leaving out the @ or putting in extra characters that a real human will know enough to delete.

And in case spambots are visiting this site, here’s a nice fresh fake e-mail for you:

3 thoughts on “Oh, shut up! Bloody Vikings!”

  1. Umm, your suggestion doesn’t work. I tried on my “eeew” post to use “Zh at ix.NetCom.com” but the blogging software rejected the unparseable email address. On this post i tried “Zh @ ix.NetCom.com” and it still doesn’t take. Here is the error message:

    Comment Submission Error

    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:

    Invalid email address ‘Zh @ ix.NetCom.com’

    Please correct the error in the form below, then press Post to post your comment.


  2. MNB,

    Thanks for the feedback. I don’t enough about Web programming to know how to get MT to accept email addresses in the format you tried. But how about this workaround: 1) don’t enter anything in the “Email Address” field, and 2) put your email address, in whatever form you prefer, into the body of your comment.

  3. Spaces are not allowed in URLs or e-mail addressses. You have to use a different place- holder (alpha-numeric, period, underline, or hyphen).

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