War on Spam Declared, Anti-Empire Readers Mobilized — UPDATE
If you see a spam message don't hesitate to flag it
UPDATE — Turns out the bots get around the spam filter by first commenting something innocent*, then quickly editing their message to a spam one, and the filter doesn’t block them on an edit. Sadly this forces me to switch off comment edits. Sorry for the inconvenience. Maybe in the future, there’ll be a good anti-spam plugin or maybe WordPress gets its stuff together, but until then I don’t think I have a choice. Disqus isn’t an option because as you’ll recall they apply censorship of their own (also their spam filtering is likewise far from bulletproof).
*Sadly WordPress is still so backward that I can’t see what the comment said before the edit, and thus can’t blacklist the “innocent” phrases they open up with.
Lately, there has been a flood of spam comments from bots linking to supposed ways to make quick and easy money online.
Because of that, I’ve enabled a captcha puzzle when commenting as a guest, but I don’t want to hassle registered users with having to solve a captcha each time as these puzzles are a major pain.
Anyhow it didn’t work, apparently, the people running bots can pay just $3 dollars for a captcha farm in the Third World to solve 1000 captchas for them, so the spam continues.
I could enable a new Google captcha v3 which does not require anything of the commenter, but I’ve read that they’re not great for commenters from a privacy perspective, so that’s not an option.
Instead, when spam appears I’ll keep deleting it and adding phrases from the spam message to the spam filter manually so hopefully, over the medium term, most types of spam would be held back by the filter.
So if you see a spam message don’t hesitate to flag it, that will help me to get to it sooner. An example would be something like this:
I started earning $350/hour in my free time by completing tasks with my laptop that i got from this company I stumbled upon online…Check it out, and start earning yourself . for more info visit any tab this site Thanks a lot Here…….. Link
Also, as I add more phrases to the spam filter it could happen in the future that your perfectly innocent comment gets held up for moderation if it includes words like “I started earning”. If it does, understand that that is the price for not enabling a Google captcha v3.
Also, Yuri will be banned starting next week until Jan 1, 2022. The comment section only has one rule: no name-calling. It’s a rule he breaks constantly, but he gets name-called himself all the time as well, and I don’t have the time to investigate who started it. However, he has now impersonated another commenter (Raptar Driver) which is even worse than name-calling other users and wasn’t part of the rules just because it never occurred to me someone would do such a weasely and childish thing.
I am impressed that you, AE commenters, literally never flag anything, apparently you’re big boys and don’t need help from the moderation, but flagging the very worst offenses (like impersonating another commenter) would be helpful sometimes.