Saturday, July 08, 2006

Dealing With Comment Spam

"Anybody know how we get an RSS feed for this blog? I am not very tech savvy and would really like to get updated info on this blog. Thanks!"

At first glance this appears to be a reasonable request, however it is one of the more subtle forms of comment spam. Why? Because the guy calls himself "Hair Removal Products", and includes a link to some nasty site selling hair removal products as his homepage.

So, I'm moderating the comments, and am about to delete it, when it occurs to me that perhaps I should not be so quick to delete comment spam. Perhaps this awful stuff can be turned to my advantage...

Recognizing Comment Spam
Subtle indicators (Two or more of these suggest you're probably looking at spam):
  • The comment is on an old post.
  • The comment is very generic and could apply to any post, or indeed, any blog. ("I like this blog")
  • Your hair falls out while you're reading it.
In the case of the subtle indicators you need to look at the web address they have entered in the homepage field, and possibly their username.

Not So Subtle Indicators:
  • The comment is trying to sell you stuff. "Credit cards, personal loans, payday loans, mortgages, auto loans, etc...."
  • Hyperlinks in the comment body.
  • "I am a pathetic moron spammer" or something like that in the comment is a pretty good indication that the spammer has accidently put "I am a pathetic moron spammer" in the comment. Probably because (s)he is not very good at typing.

Alternatives to Deleting Comment Spam
Now this is the fun bit. Firstly you've got to recognize that spammers are not people. This should suggest some really neat stuff. Did you ever want to abuse the crap out of somebody? Go right ahead. Mock, swear, hurl abuse. Let the bastards have it. See the comments on this post.

If you are using decent bloging software (ie, not Blogger) it is probably possible for you to edit the comments. This means not only can you abuse the crap out of them, you can also remove all of their hyperlinks so they gain no advantage from it.

Or, and here's a good bit coming up, you can remove the hyperlinks and not abuse them. Then you're left with coments saying, "I like your blog", but without the ads. That's pretty damn good.

So, how did I deal with the Hair Removal Moron? First, I removed the links. Next, I did this. Pretty neat huh. It's all part of my brilliant plan to:
  1. remove links.
  2. write bullshit.
  3. ?
  4. profit.
I am really good at thinking of great ideas like that, because of my brain.


Lorraine said...

LOL You're the Man!

MADCAP said...

umm... an offtopic ques since u're the expert and do it often.

I have to move my root (/) directory over to another partition: from hdb5 to hda5. It's a SUSE. This one dont have a seperate /home thingy... But I wanna change that to hda8. What all files do I have to modify after I'm done copying stuff besides the grub.conf and fstab??? Would editing those 2 files take care of the thingy?

Ben said...

Well, I'm a man.

Wow, freaky, I just did some shuffling of partitions due to a hardware failure.

This is not bad, although it doesn't cover the additional steps required when moving the root partition. (ie Grub configuration, running grub-install, fstab changes).

Unless you've used disk imaging software, such as Norton Ghost, it will not just be a matter of modifying /boot/grub/menu.lst on the new partition. You also need to install grub in the boot sector of the new drive.

Short version:
mount -t auto /dev/hda5 /mnt/hda5
mount -t sysfs /sys /dev/hda5/sys
mount -t proc /proc /dev/hda5/proc
chroot /mnt/hda5
(next edit /boot/grub/ within the chroot and make sure it says something like:
"(hd0) /dev/hda"
You may also need to edit /etc/mtab and change "/dev/hdb5 /" to "/dev/hda5 /" - at least I had to do something similar when moving from hda5 to sda5
grub-install /dev/hda
This installs grub in the MBR.
exit #exits from the chroot environment.

Long version:
This would require some kind of article, but I'd be betting plenty of those have already been written.

MADCAP said...

Hey thanks for the steps... However, did a SLED install and then upgraded it as per openSUSE repos... SLED's GNOME is pretty wild btw... lol

Lorraine said...

No choice for me I had to add word verification too. I received 160 anonymous comment spam last night.....arrrrrrghhh