Defeating SPAM Comments

By Dino Dogan September 04, 2013 4 Comments

defeating spam commentsThree thousand, three hundred, and thirty nine comments are waiting for my approval.

I wish, oh how I wish these were real comments. Alas, no such luck.

The comments waiting for my approval are mostly written in Chinese, or reference Viagra,or sometimes, only sometimes and if I’m lucky, the comment is asking me to buy tramadol ampules.

I don’t use WordPress comments. I’ve installed the Triberr plugin, so most of the comments that come through are legit. Tho we’ve had an issue of spammers creating fake Triberr account just so they can leave spammy comment.

In such cases, I would simply disable their account and comments would disappear. No muss, no fuss. Easy peasy.

But that brings me to today’s subject and a problem Triberr will have to deal with very soon.

We will be integrating Triberr comments into native WordPress database, which in un-geeked speak means that Triberr comments will work a lot like DisqUs or LiveFyre comments.

But then the question becomes, how do we deal with potential spam comments?

Defeating SPAM

We could easily do what most comment systems do. A captcha, maybe a “click here to prove you’re human”, or any number of verification mechanisms, except those detracts from the process of engaging. So, it’s not ideal.

Anyways…it got me thinking.

How can we defeat spam comments once and for all? No, really. I’m asking.

One Amazing Idea

All we need is one amazing out of the box idea. You think it, we’ll build it.

Triberr is a social network for individual authors, most of whom use their real name. So, we’re already half way there.

What if we flipped the script on comments?

What if, instead of begging people to leave a comment, we turn it into a privilege?

What if the ability to comment was akin to reaching a new level in a game?

These are just some thoughts going through my head, whats going through yours?

Dino Dogan

Dino is the Founder of Triberr, a refugee from Bosnia, and professional speaker with a real job. His real title is Global Force for Badassery.

  • Would this be considered spam :

  • yup.

  • That’s how StackOverflow is. Everything is privilege-based, depending on how many points you have.

  • Dave Conlin

    Just now reading your quest. Everyone has the same headache. How about hiring a cyber hitman to hunt down and destroy all who post spam messages?

    Just kidding, sort of…

    The thought occurred to me that spammers might not do much of anything other than post their garbage without paying much attention to what is actually on the page where they are posting. How much effort would it be to establish a question about the content of the page … say what is the topic discussed on this page (as described in the heading)? and the answer to that question being the keyword that allows the post to go through. If they do not complete the answer, allow it to appear to have been posted when they click submit, but just dump it after they have left the site? Chances are very high they are not going to come back to look and make sure it got posted anyway. Rather than posting instructions every time, standardize your procedure in your site User Agreement (or whatever policy pages you use) to explain that the comments keyword is always posted in red (or some other indicator) in the headings. That would also mean users would have to actually read that too. Kill two stones with one bird.

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