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.

  1. guest says

    Thumbs up !

    The picture above well illustrates the feelings.

  2. Maiasta says

    Well, it didn’t take long for more spam to appear. So, how exactly do you flag a spam post? I just tried but couldn’t see any option.

  3. Lol says

    I started earning, lol…

    1. Field Empty says

      Haha, good test!

  4. Field Empty says

    You’re welcome!

  5. GMC says

    I ve been sanctioned by da USG for 5 years now I appreciate AE and your comment section Spasibo!

  6. Klipfisk says

    Great effort, although I am so used to those things in comments/forums that I just scan over them. One thing that is unfortunate though, is that the auto translate feature has stopped working (402 error, payment required). I use it a lot to forward pre-translated articles on to language-impaired Italian friends. If it is because of funding problems, you should give a shout as I am sure a number of us would pitch in to keep this function working! Thanks for all your efforts!

    Oh, and one other little thing – isn’t there any other capcha system you could use behinds supporting horrible Google and their capchas? Like the things some of the Chinese use, or Brave, or Dropbox?

    1. Field Empty says

      A donor funded that feature so it’s all paid for for another 6 months or so, but it ends up cluttering English-language Google results so I suspended it while I work with their support to resolve it.

  7. ken says

    Oh come on Yuri,,, I have read some good comments from you. Stop with the personal insults and just say what you want….

  8. Raptar Driver says

    Very wise decisions.
    I do admit I was involved in the name calling although did not start it nor do I wanna continue it.
    It is childish and I participated, it’s just he/she got under my skin but that isn’t an excuse.

  9. Edward Slavsquat says

    Yuri, you never (or very, very, very rarely) respond to articles in a substantive way. If you think AE is getting something wrong, make your case. Instead you just hurl clownish insults whenever something triggers you—and you get triggered a lot.

  10. Ragheadthefiendlyterrorist says

    Why not just go back to disqus?

    Mostly academic as far as I’m concerned what you do about spam because ever since you’ve become so obsessed with covfefevirus that the fascist CIA stooge Bolsonaro is a hero to you, this site belongs in the septic tank as far as I’m concerned. I just check in once every couple of weeks to see if you’ve finally got over your covfefevirus obsession.

  11. William White says

    How does one Flag a post?

    1. gaxa says

      I get paid more than $90 to $100 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $10k from this without having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on
      the accompanying site

    2. gaxa says

      I get paid more than $90 to $100 per hour for working online. I heard about this job 3 months ago and after joining this I have earned easily $10k from this without having online working skills . Simply give it a shot on
      the accompanying site..

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