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Mar. 09 2012

Spam spam spam eggs and spam!

By Diana Ross | Posted in Staff Blogs | 5 Comments

If you build it, they will come… and they WILL SPAM!

I’m sure that more than a few of you have noticed the weird comments that have nothing to do with anything popping up on every blog post here.  We’ve seen a high-volume of comment spammers in the last couple of weeks, and while they make us feel popular, they are quite a pain in the rear end!

To battle the spam, we’ve added a few layers of protection to the website.  Please let me know if you spot something broken, or not-quite-right!  dross@bccc.edu

For those of you who are curious or tech-inclined:

1st layer –AVH Anti-spammer plug-in.  This will screen visitors against known spam-bot IP addresses in 3 databases and (if matched) prevent them from interacting with our website.

2nd layer – a Captcha at the bottom of every comment form.  Posters who are live human beings read the code, type the code in the form and are allowed to comment.  It’s a real pain, and personally I hate Captchas but it seems to be a necessary evil.

3rd layer – a blacklist of words like ‘viagra’ and such that should hold messages for moderation.  We have had this in place for a week or so and it has filtered many of the less friendly spam.

If the problem isn’t solved with these steps in place, we have other options we can explore.  Ultimately, we’re trying to deliver the best WBJC website experience. Trying to balance ease of use (I am a fan of not making people register an account and log-in every time they wish to comment) with safety/security is an ongoing process.  If it turns out that the AVH and blacklist methods catch enough of the spam, we can do away with the Captchas.

Here’s to breakfast!

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Diana Ross

About

Diana Ross is not the famous Supremes singer, but she does have big hair. Working in both Membership and Operations departments, she does a little bit of everything, including administering this website. You can contact her at dross@bccc.edu.

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