“No Comment”

I’ve been following with interest the issue of comment spamming through MovableType (and presumably other content management systems that use Perl and CGI scripts). Fortunately, I haven’t been a victim of this and the two or three people who frequent this blog and comment do “play nice.”

This is just one more argument for turning comments off. And I for one would hate to see that happen en masse since I think we’d lose a big part of the interactivity that makes reading blogs (and writing them, too — everyone likes to get positive feedback whether they want to admit it or not!) such fun. And I’ve found some of my most beloved blogs in someone else’s comment box!

Here’s what others are saying about this fairly new threat:
PromoGuy
Brad Choate
Scripty Goddess
Teal Sunglasses
Phil Ringnalda

What can you do to prevent this from happening to your blog? Well, easy. You can simply disable comments on your blog generally. And turn them on selectively (at least in MT and GM; I’m not sure about other journaling software). You can go one step further and not only disable comments, but remove the mt-comments.cgi file altogether and pull the plug on it like Dive Into Mark did. Or if you are really brave (or know how to work with Perl) you can modify your MT scripts like Burningbird suggests. (Not for the faint of heart!) Here’s another suggestion from Burningbird.

And a kissing cousin to comment spamming is referrer log spamming, which 0xDECAFBAD discusses. And I’m noticing the proliferation of referral logs (similar in appearance to blogrolls) on some sites now.

Sadly, Chuqui at Teal Sunglasses summed it up best:

But it’s time to put locks on the doors. Sad to say. Overdue, really, since unlocked doors only work until the first dweeb hits town, and they always show up when you least want them… but now that the grafitti is appearing on the walls, we can’t continue as a community to pretend it’s not going to get worse.

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