OpenLife.cc spam controls tightened

Last week both Sheeri and Mark Callaghan pointed my attention to the fact that if they comment on articles on this blog, they end up getting lot of email spam that is sent via OpenLife.cc. Thank you for informing me, I was completely unaware that this was still happening. The problem should now be fixed - you should not get any more spam mail, whether related to your old comments on this site or any new ones I hope you will still make.

When spam bots figured out how to spam Drupal based blogs - including working around the Captcha - I enabled the Drupal Antispam module which uses the Akismet service to check all incoming comments for spam. It has worked very well. On average AntiSpam blocks 40 spam comments a day, and the accuracy is very good (see stats below).

After a few hours of debugging I found out that there was indeed a problem with this setup. The problem was that the Comment Notify module (which sends out an email when someone replies to a thread you have commented on) and Antispam use different API hooks to interact with incoming comments. Unfortunately this meant that the emails would be sent out first, and only after that had happened would the comment be checked for spam.

So yesterday I hacked the comment notification to make an extra spam check, and it seems there hasn't been any more email spam flowing through this blog.

To me the online discourse is one of the most satisfying and valuable things in working in open source. I try to do everything I can that people will continue to have a lively dialogue on my own blog, as well as elsewhere. Hopefully now there won't be any reason for anyone to avoid commenting on my blog posts.

I apologize for sending out so much spam in the past 2 years, I simply wasn't aware it was happening. I of course got the spam too, but I thought it was just because I'm the administrator of this site.

[Antispam] Statistics since June 25, 2009 (1174 days)

Total Checked: 49738 (avg: 42.37/day)
Total Spams: 49177 (avg: 41.89/day)
Total Hams: 561 (avg: 0.48/day)

Total False Negatives: 163 (avg: 0.14/day)

Total False Positives: 2 (avg: 0/day)

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