photo 2009 Jerry Pank | more info (via: Wylio)
I wish I believed in hell. If I did I could take solace from the knowledge that spammers would be cozied up with all of the world’s bike thieves on their own level of the place (several levels up from animal abusers).
Sadly, regardless of one’s views on the afterlife, spammers are a vile part of the life we are living now. WordPress, which powers the Vet Blog, automatically blocks most obvious spam comments. WordPress holds some comments for moderation if the program suspects they’re spam. Some spam comments slip through, so I have to patrol the posted comments and remove some now and then. But in general the program does a good job of keeping out links to natural male enhancement products.
I have the ability to “brown list” certain words or phrases that are associated with spam but that sometimes make it through the filter. Comments that contain words such as Viagra and Cialis and taxi (don’t get me started on the taxicab spammer — I hate that jackass) will be held for moderation. Comments containing multiple links also get held up, since spammers usually link to malicious sites.
But what I don’t have is the ability to “green light” in advance comments from known, legitimate contributors. And for some reason certain frequent contributors’ comments routinely get held up for moderation. Laura, Dr. Deb, Mom — if I could put you on a “green list” I would.
I don’t completely understand how WordPress sorts some comments into the moderation pile. Consider Darci’s comment on my article entitled “Why are People so Passionate About Dog Food?”. The comment, written on January 30, simply said, “Thanks Dr. Barchas!” It contained no link. Darci’s name and e-mail address don’t contain any word that are inappropriate or frequently used by spammers. Her IP address isn’t one that has been flagged as one used by spammers. She doesn’t have a history of leaving abusive comments. I have no idea why the comment was waiting in the moderation queue when I checked in to the blog this morning.
I apologize to any legitimate contributor whose comment has been caught up in moderation and delayed. I promise to check in regularly to approve the honest comments that get caught in the spam-patrol dragnet that unfortunately is necessary on the Vet Blog. Meanwhile, I’ll do my best to try to convince myself that maybe, just maybe there is in fact a hell for the spammers to rot in.