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January 13, 2004
Comment Spam Solution
To all my friends who
are deluged with comment spam, here's a tip
: give up. Like email, the openness of blog comments is a pandora's box that cannot be closed. Fighting spam is a war created by the economics
of near zero cost fo sending a message with a marginal probability of return. You can't win this war because you don't have the resources or incentives to fight it and every move you make will be matched by your invisible opponents. Blacklists don't work and create false positives. The only solution is to raise the costs for your opponent.
So here's a solution for you. First, turn off comments
. Second, do what Cory did and move your discussion to a Tribe (http://boingboing.tribe.net
) [Cory notes in comments that his readers did this when they shut comments off because of spam]. This creates a social network-based whitelist for conversations. It raises the cost of commenting to registering with the service and agreeing to policies. It shifts the burden of enforcement to a third party.
Third, keep Trackback on. The cost of creating a blog is still a barrier and in some cases, again, shifts the burden to a third party. Perhaps provide a friendly link or guide to starting a blog with a free service so real people can participate in these conversations.
Don't you have better things to do than fight this war?
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