Quick note about comments

by | May 27, 2006 | Stress Blog | 7 comments

I thought I should explain some things about leaving comments here. We always welcome just about any comment from anyone, because we post here to discuss issues. We have, however, been receiving at least 2 dozen spam comments per day. These spammers create scripts that automate the process of sending comments, including filling out form info – email, URI, name etc.
One way to combat the spam is to restrict who can leave comments to registered users. I will not take that step, because it restricts the discussion at the same time. The option I’m left with is setting up various filters that screen comments based on variable criteria. A filter is like a bouncer outside a club. Before you can get past him, he applies rules, such as a minimum age, that you must pass. I have set up several different layers of filters to try to get rid of spam, some of them are quite harsh. For example, there are a list of blacklisted words that result in a comment being deleted automatically before it ever appears. There is a much longer list of phrases and words that result in comments being held in a moderation queue that I check at least once per day. Third, I’m using the “akismet” plugin, which has proven much more effective than the other filters. On many occasions, these filters have held legitimate comments in a queue, and there is even a possibility that they have deleted legitimate comments (although probably not). Bottom line: If you have posted a comment that has not immediately appeared on the site, it will before the end of the day.
We have also deleted some comments based on bigoted or offensive content. We reserve the option to do so in the future as well.
In the interests of full disclosure, here is the list of blacklisted words:
casino, blackjack, carisoprodol, cyclen, cyclobenzaprine, cialis, coolcoolhu, coolhu, discreetordering, fioricet, holdem, holdempoker, holdemsoftware, levitra, poker, poze, tramadol, zolus, valeofglamorganconservatives, ultram, vioxx, xanax, tamiflu, phentermine, adipex, hydrocodone, ambien, tramadol, fioricet

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