As those who know me in the flesh would tell you, now that I’m happily retired and no longer trying to do three things at once, I’m usually reasonably laid-back and good at taking life as it comes. Of course I get angry about the big things, like injustice and corruption and the mess we’re making of our wonderful planet, but I don’t often get irritated by the little things nowadays.
However, as the past month has gone on, I’ve become more and more irritated by one particular little thing and that is spam. Not email spam, as our ISP does a wonderful job of filtering that, but blog spam - those annoying pseudo-comments that have recently been cluttering up my blog.
In the past Blogger’s spam filter has worked well and I've been able to carry on happily without the dreaded word verification I find so hard to decipher and without needing to use comment moderation. However this new wave of spam seems to be much more sophisticated and able to fool Blogger’s filtering system, with the result that I’m having to clear spam messages from my blog on a very regular basis.
Being a stubborn old biddy, I still refuse to put word verification on my blog, but I have reluctantly switched on comment moderation for all posts more than 10 days old. I also make sure that all comments are emailed to me, not just the moderated ones, so that I can go to my dashboard and mark them as spam, rather than simply deleting them from the comments section of my blog.
This, I gather, is known as training the spam filter and it’s not the way I would choose to spend my time. Knitting socks is much more fun and DH and I have warm feet at the end of it, but a spamless blog is also a worthwhile objective , so I will do what it takes to achieve it. That won’t stop me grinding my teeth with annoyance just a little, as I do my bit to frustrate the spammers. Let’s hope my dentist doesn’t notice......
In her comment Annie at knitsofacto gave two excellent tips which I think deserve to be more easily found by those engaged in the battle against spam:
1. Never leave the spam comments on a post. Just having links in place on a legitimate site gives the spammers legitimacy.
2. A quick scan of those comments the spam filter does pick up is all that's then necessary before deleting them. If you just look at the end of the comments, phrases like 'my site' are a dead giveaway that you're looking at spam.
Image via Google