A Regrettable Change

Spammers at their best

Due to the massive amount of spam I have received over the last few months I have finally made the decision to require registration in order to comment on Thailand Land of Smiles. This wasn’t an easy decision to make for me but with increasing problems related to spam comments it was either require registration or completely close comments. I have closed threads to comments that are older than 90 days but closing comments in general just doesn’t sit well with me.

While I hate registration to comment you will only have to register once and will be able to comment freely after that. Some spammers will still get through but most won’t bother with registering.

Hopefully long time readers and commentators to Thailand, Land of Smiles will understand why I am doing this and will continue to contribute to the great community here. I’m sure this will deter many newcomers from commenting but at this point I need to think of the greater good and unfortunately that is removing spammers before they get in.  While Akismet and other anti-spam software has done a decent job ( killing over 357,000 spam comments in 5 years ) the spammers have gotten smarter and started fooling these plugins easily by either copying other comments or just writing something that doesn’t quite look like spam but isn’t natural either.

I hate to have to take this action and I may change my mind after a trial run but we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I hope you all understand.


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15 Responses to A Regrettable Change
  1. Catherine
    March 12, 2012 | 9:53 pm

    Hi Talen, I totally understand the decision you’ve had to make. Hang in there!

  2. Talen
    March 12, 2012 | 10:33 pm

    Heya Cat, you know all too well my troubles recently…I am trying something else at the moment so registering has been held off momentarily…Hopefully this works and if it does I’ll let you know what it is so you can implement it also.

  3. malcolm
    March 13, 2012 | 12:01 am

    Hello Talen , you got to do what you got to do , I know I haven’t commented as much as I use to but Ciejay is kepping me pretty busy and I have even slacked off on my little blog , we’re in the middle of planning our trip to the US(three months) this fall and with all the places we are going and everything we want to do and see ( our last trip out ) it’s taking a lot of planning , plus theres a family reunion in the works too , so if I don’t comment it doesn’t mean I don’t read , take care . Malcolm

    • Talen
      March 13, 2012 | 8:23 pm

      malcolm, I understand completely …I think we have all been very busy the past year. Can’t wait to read the posts and see the pics from your U.S. trip!

  4. Claudio Sennhauser
    March 13, 2012 | 7:37 am

    Glad you were able to find another solution than registering, Talen. I hope it’ll work. Not sure what you’re trying, but if it doesn’t work, you might also want to look into Conditional Captcha (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-conditional-captcha/). Works pretty well.

    • Talen
      March 13, 2012 | 8:19 pm

      Claudio, Unfortunately captcha’s no longer work. The spammers use a program called death by captcha or one similar that breaks captchas by the thousands at a time. They also use another software called seonuke that finds and posts thousands of comments at a time.

      One serious consideration is removing comment love because that is one thing the spammers look for…they want the link back.

  5. Josh
    March 13, 2012 | 7:26 pm

    Talen, this may seem like a dumb question, but why not just use akismet and comment moderation? I get tons of spam every day, but akismet puts it right into the spam folder automatically.

    • Talen
      March 13, 2012 | 8:15 pm

      Josh, I do use akismet and it stops about 4-6000 spam comments a month…unfortunately the spammers are using a software to find blogs and posts with good page rank, once they do they actually write something related to the content but it’s usually off somewhere but not enough for akismet to guess that it’s spam which means I have anywhere from 500-1000 spam comments to cull on any given week. Some of these spammers are adding links in where the email should go which can cause even more serious problem.

      When all is said and done then the spammers add the blogs and pages to a master list and share them with all the other spammers.

      Right now I am testing out a few options and keeping the comments open again but I really don’t have the time or inclination to deal with the amount of spam I have been getting.

      • Josh
        March 13, 2012 | 11:00 pm

        Understandable. As I said, the same thing is happening on my blogs, but since I get less traffic than you it hasn’t totally pissed me off yet. :)

        Good luck! Let me know what you come up with.

  6. Josh
    March 13, 2012 | 7:30 pm

    I guess what I’m really asking is how many “special” comments do you get that Akismet doesn’t catch for you? I’m getting them, too, but they aren’t too bad to manage.

  7. acadia
    March 14, 2012 | 8:38 am

    you lazy! Do the plain English thing that the bots can’t read, or use a hidden field!

  8. Rambone
    March 15, 2012 | 9:11 am

    well i guess i have to come back next year to see the new waterpark near pattaya. i can’t believe cartoon network is going there, but also sad pattaya is becoming so ‘americanized/westernized’.

  9. Martyn
    March 16, 2012 | 4:23 am

    Talen – I have noticed a lot more spam comments slipping through the gates of The Juice lately. Your post explains why. Some of the comments are very near the mark content wise and can be difficult to detect. I now have a policy of trashing most comments from people I don’t know.

  10. Rambone
    March 18, 2012 | 10:27 am

    I guess I’m confused by what you mean as spam… posts that direct you to another website?

    I’ve seen some posts that basically generic one-liners that I’ve wondered why someone would bother to write them, is that what you mean?

    • Talen
      March 20, 2012 | 11:38 pm

      Rambone, the spam I am speaking of is comment spam…people that pst crap comments just to slide a link in to their sites which are usually spam sites as well.

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