Sunday, August 21, 2005

To Be Human

Sounds like this is going to be some big philosophical, theological discussion of what it means to be a person versus animal, whet humanity is coming to, and all that good, deep stuff, doesn't it? Well, you should know better, because it's not. It's about an old, familiar problem- SPAM. And no, not the fake meat product that no one ever admits to eating. To be technical- you don't want it, you didn't ask for it, and yet, it keeps on coming.

Spam isn't a new problem, for me or likely anyone else. I have a Hotmail account that I spend more time on killing friendly messages such as, "Hey, you've won a free $100 restaurant gift card!" (No, I haven't) or, "Your AFC bank account has been breached so click this link and enter your passwords and we'll take care of it for you!" (Nice try, guys, but I've never even heard of AFC bank); than getting actual messages. And when you push the "Next blog" button, you get blogs driven by machines offering cheap deals on cell phones, with a human far far off in the distance hoping someone will fall for it.

That sort of thing, I'm used to. But when they invade MY turf, I get mad. I didn't painstakingly build this thing to end up with comments such as, "I agree with your post, hey check this out, I think you're gonna like it!" Not sure how you can not agree with a post about penguins, but I digress. This is when I decide to do something. The question is, what?

I debated disabling anonymous commenting, but several of my readers don't have Blogger accounts. I created a fake account they could use to sign in on, but that seemed like too much work. And I believe in allowing anonymous comments- if you want to voice your opinion but don't have the courage to use your name, or if you want to play Linky-Do, or whatever, fine. I won't be the curtail your free speech, I believe in expressing your opinion even if it's one I don't necessarily like. But I was so frustrated , I went to the settings to do just that- and then I saw an alternative.

I got so excited about this alternative- word verification- that I went around like Rambo Woman yesterday, suggesting it on every random blog I saw that had been hit by the Spammers. And if you don't know how to do it, I already sent Darlene a tutorial, and who am I to try to beat my own words? Requiring commenters to verify a word works because the spammers are automated, and it takes a human to type in some letters they see. Plus, a lot of the spammers have caught on and aren't anonymous anymore, as I discovered playing Rambo. So until they get smarter than this, you're going to have to type in a few letters- a pretty small price to pay for my sanity. At least, I think so.


At 8/21/2005 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Very, very smart of you! Thank you and Darlene and Becky and others who helped point out this solution.

Bloggers unite! Untie SPAM!

(You should see us lysdesics try to deal with this, thought.)

At 8/21/2005 06:48:00 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

So now we have to bear the cost of your sanity? Sheesh...

And I thought I'd made clear my feelings about penguins.

Spam, the mystery meat product: I've eaten it and am proud to say so. Dad used to barbeque it.

{this comment brought to you by Spambot 2000, the best automated solution for annoying the heck out of bloggers}

At 8/21/2005 08:12:00 PM, Blogger Shelley said...

Thanks to your advice and Darlene's post of how to do it, I too have now added the verification thingy on my blog.

At 8/21/2005 08:26:00 PM, Blogger John said...

Well done nettie, what's a few words when you are typing a comment anyway.


PS. I love Spam (to Eat).

At 8/21/2005 08:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good for you for making an effort to figure this out, hope it works for you. i've started to leave comments on some of my regular reads that are having the same problem, i referred them to darlene's blog for instructions (thanks darlene!)
hey, how cute is this, the first two initials i have to type are jq, just for me!

At 8/21/2005 09:27:00 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

I did a "next blog" trip earlier; I decided (in my obsessive-compulsive way) to keep tabs on which ones I visited, noting if the blog itself was a "spam blog", and whether or not there were any spam comments.

I hit 7 blogs. Glad to report none of them were spam blogs, but all 7 had spam comments. I posted comments on all (except one, which noted he had disabled comments due to the spam, so I emailed him), sending them to Darlene's post. I got 2 emails back already thanking me.

At 8/22/2005 03:53:00 AM, Blogger Peas on Toast said...

You've been tagged my liddle old me!

1) Who do YOU think killed JFK?

2) What was the last thing that exploded in your microwave?

3)Who are the four people that you make the most phonecalls to? (maybe on speed dial, etc)

4)Why is your car called Harvey?

5)Where is the most exotic place you've ever been to? It could be right down the road, it could be in South America...

At 8/22/2005 07:56:00 AM, Blogger Jeannie said...

Thanks Nettie - this is quite helpful..I hadn't blogged for a while only to find out some alien had attacked my blog - its like an invasion of privacy.

At 8/22/2005 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Muley said...

This sounds great. I've been getting these Spam comments the past few weks, and have wondered how to defeat them. Thanks, Nettie, for the tip.

At 8/22/2005 10:49:00 AM, Blogger baileysMilk said...

Nettie, you're darn resourceful!! hee hee.

If you bother typing a password to access my blog... I'll type a few words to comment on yours!! :)

At 8/22/2005 01:22:00 PM, Blogger Natalia said...

What sucks is that because of spammers we will be shutting off others by blocking anon posts etc. But yes, I can type a few letter.. why not? To keep spam out..not too much to ask :)


At 8/22/2005 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Cindy-Lou said...

You go, girlfriend ;) I actually saw someone who had been spammed with a "I have a HIPAA blog that I know you'd love!".... sounds like some GREAT reading to me... sheesh! The new age of telemarketing...

At 8/22/2005 05:07:00 PM, Blogger Amigo said...

Good idea Nettie. I wish Haloscan had a similar feature ( or if it does, I didn't find it.)

At 8/22/2005 05:11:00 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Someone needs to sew you a red cape for saving all of cyberspace, you know that? I'm calling you Cyber Girl!

At 8/22/2005 06:59:00 PM, Blogger Blair said...

I saw this the other day... just ahd to try it out as a commenter... maybe we should tell Baileysmilk about this rather than the huge password protected blog...

At 8/22/2005 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

My sweet Lord! Spammers are invading the Blogosphere.

I read with disgust!

That must explain why I keep having to type distored letters into boxes before my comments will post.

At 8/22/2005 08:42:00 PM, Blogger Paula said...

I hate spam like you, urgh! What really made me mad was when I noticed spam on Rebekah's blog. The nerve of some people, argh!!!!

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