Assistance Received!

Two days ago, I put out the call for assistance, because the comments area on this blog had become overrun with spam (giant messages with dozens of links). The messages weren’t designed to attract clicks – they’re not so stupid as that – but rather to fool Google into thinking that their sites had many other sites linking to them, which would make their rankings rise.

So, unable to fix this, and unable to find the guy who programmed my comments in the first place, I put the call out.

The result, as you’ll see in the comments, is a SpamBlock challenge, where you have to type the word “human” after you’ve made your post, to prove your human. If they (the robots) figure this one out, the php script still blocks out all posts with links. This means if you have a link, post it without the http: and people can just cut and paste it.

I may temporarily ‘comment out’ the link prohibition to see if the robots still come.

So, super and special thanks to all who volunteered to assist in this effort, and especially to Marc Myers who spent his hard-earned free time to write and rewrite the script (with no debugging machine) as well as Matt Ridenour and Lars for coaching in the comments area, and Scott Rubin, Dave Samojlenko, Jonathan Arkell, and Yermo Lamers for all your kind offers of help.

This has restored my faith in humans, and the power of community to fight back the machines. (It’s not really the machines, alas, but other spamming humans who we are fighting.)

If anyone feels like taking this to the next level, you are more than welcome. What we want to do is replace the error writing that says “click your mouse button and select ‘back'” with a simple BACK button. It might be nice to use the random word selection script, too, so that we have the fun of seeing new words every time…

But this is great, and thanks again, all!

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