free html hit counter F*cking Spam - John Battelle's Search Blog

F*cking Spam

By - April 14, 2004

spamSpam. F*cking spam. Last night I got hit with about 150 or so comment spams from “”, some Chinese site I can’t even read. I’m on it, but I don’t have the time to hand-delete all these spams, and my mail is down to boot, meaning my Blacklist ain’t functional. Even if it were, that’s hundreds of clicks. Anyone know a way to batch delete comments in the MT backend?

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18 thoughts on “F*cking Spam

  1. You can use the MT-Blacklist plugin…

    I’ve found that following my conversion from MT to WordPress, that my spam issue is done. I have to approve comments that include more than X urls and I can add a list of terms as flags as well. Just a thought…

  2. Glenn Fleishman says:

    John, you can also use a SQL query (if you’re a SQL backend and have access to it) that can delete comment spam associated with a particular post. Let me know if you want the instructions. Also, as you probably know, Movable Type is adding an optional identity-based registration system for its 3.0 release that will allow you to control whether all posters have had a confirmed email address through that separate system; whether to moderate all posts; and whether to moderate the first post from a new commenter.

  3. David Sifry says:

    Or, you can turn comments off completely and use something that high-traffic sites like BoingBoing and Vodkapundit are doing – using Technorati as a transparent, accoutability-producing comment system, see more info here:

    and here:


  4. Scot Hacker says:

    If we can just hold out a bit longer for MT Pro (MT 3), we’ll have a flexible and open centralized user registration system. Users who choose to use it will see the end of comment spam for good.

  5. Scot Hacker says:

    Also note that MT-Blacklist does let you batch delete – just click the “De-Spam” link at the top of the MTB interface rather than using the link in the comment email.

  6. John,

    I go back to my original suggestion from when this happended before, which is to install David Raynes’ script that closes old comments after a pre-set amount of time.

    See here:

    I use it, along with the blacklist, on a fairly heavy traffic blog that I manage, and it has virtually eliminated comment spam. It works because:

    1. Regular visitors rarely, if ever, comment on posts older than, say, 30 days.

    2. Comment-spammers *always* spam older posts because they are trying to hide their comments from you. (They’re trying to accumulate links to their sites, which convert into higher Page Ranks. Note how the spam you got today was on posts from December.)

    Scot could install this script on your Birdhouse server in mere minutes, and then you could periodically close old comments with the click of a mouse.

    The spam blacklist is fine as far as it goes. But it’s sort of like trying to chase your kids around the house. You won’t always get them because they have more cunning, energy and motivation than you.

    By closing your old comments, it’s like locking the back door of your house that burglars always use to get in.


  7. Scot Hacker says:

    Michael, I see the utility of this, but personally enjoy having discussions continue on old entries that people find in search engines, so prefer not to close down old threads. I’d rather keep them open and hold out for TypeKey.

  8. elise says:

    Hi John,
    In addition to MT-Blacklist, there are some other things you can do to discourage spam – change the name of the mt-comments.cgi, force commenters to preview first, don’t use pop-ups, for example. I’ve listed out things you can do with instructions here:

  9. Tim says:

    I do this at least once a week via MySQL.

    delete from mt_comment where comment_created_on > '2004-05-16 15:41:10' AND comment_created_on < '2004-03-17 16:41:10'

    where the two date/time stamps are the time you got your first comment spam in a series and the time you got your last in the series.

    Backing up your mysql database on a regular basis is also highly advised.

    What a pain in the a**.

  10. Thank you as always for all your help here. I now have a fuller mastery of MT Blacklist.

  11. Max says:

    Well, I’m sure that the majority of spam letters coming into one’s box is one’s fault. I mean that one can prevent massive spam by not submitting once imale to suspicious mailing lists and/or newsletters.

  12. Marina says:

    Maybe you should better create a new e-mail box account 🙂

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  14. allen says:

    Congratulate Ur website to be bettter and better

  15. Hi, I had also SPAM problem and I installed mt-blacklist! It’s a great comment-spam-filter! I use it for weeks and am perfectly happy with it.

  16. I had also suffered a lot from spams of comments on my site. Then I put the comment-spam filter i.e mt-blacklist, which has given me the relief.

  17. We are doing a show tomorrow (8/23) on “Preparing your IT Department for Web 2.0” tomorrow, at 3 PM Central Standard time. Host is Sanjog Aul. The main guest is Kevin Vasconi of the R L Poke Company. Would you be available by phone to discuss the topic with Kevin and the host?