Wulf's Webden

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Tread Carefully Round the Spam

One of the reasons I’ve been hesitant about installing a full-blown comments system on my blog (beyond my continuing experiment with comments via my Flickr pictures) is that I don’t think I would get that many replies but I would want to be sure of not getting flooded with spam. In the physical universe, entropy decrees that matter tends to disorder and my desk always ends up looking untidy; in the virtual world, if posting messages isn’t awkward, the space starts to get plastered with spam.

I’ve recently added some anti-spam measures onto the comments form on the website for Lewisham Hospital as part of my role as webmaster for the Trust. Another place I do some webmastering is as a moderator on the local Hither Green Discussion Forum. There, we have a reasonable level of local conversation bubbling along (although more contributors would definitely be welcome) but we also get one or two bits of spam a day in the section that we have left fairly open (we want it to be as easy as possible for people new to web forums to get involved).

This morning, after zapping yet more junk, I have written a message to help genuine users of the site avoid problems when they find unsolicited adverts that Peter (site owner) or I haven’t got round to dealing with yet. The principles apply to any web-based forum that gets spammed so do take a look if boards you are involved in suffer the same problem.

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