Minimize blog spam in MovableType?
Dave, I use two different versions of MovableType for my weblogs, one on each of two different servers, and am wondering what your best recommendations are in terms of limiting my comment spam? One is 3.17 and the other is the latest 3.2 release.
By darn good luck, colleague and blog wizard Josh Hallett of Hyku | blog just recently answered a very similar question, and with his kind permission, I quote his excellent answer:
I recently upgraded to MT 3.2 but preferred my anti-spam settings of 3.17. I'll talk a bit about both. Ultimately, however, most comment and trackback spam is run via scripts.
With 3.17 I had three primary tools in use:
All that changed when I upgraded to 3.2
Like I mentioned earlier, MT-Blacklist does not work with version 3.2. Your primary line of defense is MT's built-in SpamLookup system. MTBL used to stop the spam before I saw it, now with 3.2 I see it in the 'Junk' list which I am forced to review frequently. Yes MT will auto-delete this queue, but I still get false-positives.
This is especially true for Trackbacks. It seems that every Trackback I get from TypePad hosted blogs does not make it through. The reason? The IP address of the trackback server does not match the IP address of the blog's domain. It seems like SixApart would have this covered since they wrote both pieces of software.
I have attempted to update the name of my .cgi files but the spam appears just as quickly again. When I say appear I mean in the junk area, so it never makes it to my blog, but it's still there. Since the name-change doesn't work anymore my theory is that there is another way to post trackbacks, perhaps via an API or the scrips have become smart enough to look-up the exact name of the .cgi script on your blog and then post away. My guess is the latter.
Anyway that's what I do for myself and all my clients. I also have a number of specific plugins for MovableType and some custom modifications I have created that make things like tagging very easy for the basic user.
Thank you for your expert insight on this, Josh. I'm in the middle of migrating from this ancient version of MT to the very latest, on a new, faster server, so I'll be able to add my own experiences in this regard soon enough.
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