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Comment spam update

Thursday, November 16, 2006
Keywords: Technology, Spam

On November 11, I switched on my new anti-spam system (it had been running in a test mode for a little while before that). Since then, there have been 492 comments* received by this blog...

  • Legitimate comments: 9 (1.8%)
    • Incorrectly filtered: 0 (0%)
    • Not filtered: 9 (100%)
  • Spam comments: 483* (98.2%)
    • Caught by filter: 476 (98.6%)
    • Not caught by filter: 7 (1.4%)

I like that there are no false positives (the old system of content filtering and post age lockout was very problematic in this area). The 7 false negatives were rather unexpected, though. This means that spammers are now going as far as integrating scripting engines in their bots (either that, or those 7 were entered by a human and not by an automated bot). Oh well. A 98.6% catch rate isn't too bad.

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* This is an understated number because some of the spam bots are so poorly written that they can't even fill in the right blanks; those attempts that fail basic validation are not logged by the new system and are not included in this count.

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