We Apologize for any Inconvenience

Those comment spammers, dontchya love em? Steven den Beste tried to leave a comment earlier in the day, and his immortal prose was blocked by our MT Blacklist anti-spam utility. Seems that a spammer slipped a little something in the URL line which prevented anyone from using the letters DE. Clever of them.

Clever, and yet oh so annoying.

Its fixed now, but I thought it would be a good idea if I stepped up to the podium and said a few words to our readers.

Im not an admin here, and I dont set policy. That means your comment might be deleted due to content and language that Jonathan or Lexington find offensive and theres not anything I can do about it. (Not that Id want to, since anything that pisses off Lex or Jonathan automatically pisses me off as well.) But keep in mind that I can get into the Blacklist and make changes. If anyone has any problems they can drop me a line at james_43202@yahoo.com and Ill get right on it.

That is all. We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

6 thoughts on “We Apologize for any Inconvenience”

  1. I remain awed by those with sufficient technical savvy to quickly debug such annoyances.

    More simply, I am too stupid to have fixed it, and would have had no recourse but to set fire to the server. First, though, I might have chanted over it, or swung beads, or sacrificed a small bird to the Almighty CPU. Failing that, fire.

  2. Just to be clear, I have never deleted anything except a very small number of comments to my OWN posts. Other bloggers on the Boyz are on their own and can make their own judgments.

    The Anti-Spam utility has a mind of its own and sometimes prevents comments from going up due to the presence of seemingly innocuous phrases. I have had this problem myself. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by low-cost vandals and the precautions we have to take impose costs on all of us.

  3. Thanks, James and Steven! I didn’t have a clue about what was going on.

    The blacklist blocks hundreds of spam comments here daily. When a spam comment gets through, I usually add its URL to the blacklist. Inevitably some of the terms I add to the blacklist block legitimate comments. And now it appears that spammers have learned how to make the blacklist even less effective.

    I was planning to install a challenge/response, and this episode confirms that I should do that. Possible alternatives are to upgrade to the latest version of Movable Type, which I don’t want to do, or to WordPress, which I want to do but seems like a lot of work. Suggestions are appreciated.

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