There are, as you might guess, spam issues. As a result, I am doing two significant things
1) ALL comments on the first post (“So it’s a blog…”) will be deleted. The spammers are hitting that one because it’s the oldest, hoping they’ll be able to post their links (and hence bump their sites’ PageRank) unnoticed. Yeah, well, I’m monitoring the page, and the blog’s spamblocking is pretty hardcore, so they’re getting noticed, and not posted. That first post is a spamtrap; do not comment there! I say again: DO NOT COMMENT ON THE FIRST POST; it’s a spamtrap, all comments on it will be deleted, and the presumption will be that anyone posting there is a spammer.
2) Any new user registrations with .ru domains, with other skeevy domains, with names and emails that blatantly do not match (i.e., someone’s username is fredsmith and their email is bobjones @ whatever domain — it’s usually Yahoo), or that do not include at least a last name (even if it’s just “visitor”) will be deleted. I deleted 35 bogus user accounts this morning, so at this point my default assumption is that a registration with no comments is a spammer unless proven otherwise. Therefore, IF YOU REGISTER BUT DO NOT COMMENT, your account will probably be deleted unless there’s some really good reason to think that you’re not a spammer. (again, putting “I’m real” in the last-name field will do nicely)
I’m now including @yahoo.com email addresses in this, to save myself cleaning-out time. I haven’t had a legitimate registration from Yahoo yet. If you really do have a Yahoo email address, and you really want to register, sorry, but you’re going to have to go get a Gmail account or something, because the spammers have poisoned that domain. Update: It has also been necessary to add @hotmail because of a particularly persistent spammer. Again, I’ve never gotten a legitimate registration from there. Updated update: I’ve switched anti-spam plugins; yahoo and hotmail are viable again, assuming the filter doesn’t have some other reason to reject an email address.
Theoretically, these steps shouldn’t inconvenience any real users, and will make it difficult for the spamscum to clutter up this place. After all, I assume y’all really want me to be writing code, not cleaning out blog spam.
3) BANNED KEYWORDS AND DOMAINS
If your email address contains one of these words in some form — or, as of the most recent update, 180 others — it is blocked and cannot register:
best, better, bieber, buy, cash, cheap, checkout, coin, diabetes, diet, doctor, enhancement, finance, jewelry, media, meds, money, online-, online., product, ranker, realestate, refurbished, sale, search, supplement
I think you can see why most of those are banned. Unfortunately, some of those will probably catch the occasional real person. If your email address has one of those strings of letters in it, contact me and I’ll unblock it long enough for you to register. Unless it’s “bieber”. Seriously….
The following TLDs are also blocked:
generic: .bid, .biz, .club, .date, .info, .life, .loan, .men, .ovh, .pro, .store, .top, .website, .work, .xxx, .xyz country codes: .bg, .br, .cc, .cf, .cn, .ee, .fr, .ga, .gq, .in, .ml, .pl, .pt, .pw, .ru, .su, .tk, .ua
Basically, unless a TLD is .com, .net, .org, .edu, .mil, .gov, .us, .uk, .de, or a handful of other countries, the default at this point is to assume it’s skeevy until proven otherwise. Sorry about .fr, if you’re legitimately from France, but I’ve never had a legit signup from there, and I’ve started getting multiple a day.
I’m not crazy about having to do it this way, but it’s either write code or clean spam. As I said, I assume y’all would prefer to have me writing code.