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Very Annoyed At Trackback Spam

One reason you haven't heard so much from me? When I get home these days after a very long day working, I've generally found over 100 trackback spams in my inbox, generally from the same source. Although it should be easy to get rid of them, MT-Blacklist is causing some trouble. First of all, there's a 3,878 limit on your blacklist entries (i.e. you can block that many sites), and guess what, I hit it last week. Checking my email each day now takes fifteen minutes, as one hundred notifications have to come off the site. And--ugh--there's some database problems with my MT-Blacklist installation (my host has been monkeying with its MySQL settings again), which means removing them isn't as easy as it should be. Oh, yeah, did I mention that all of this spam activity is pushing me towards a bandwidth cap?

A friend of mine once joked that the only reason she didn't support a general ban on the death penalty was that then we'd never be able to apply it to spammers. While that's not the only reason I support the death penalty, any abolitionist had better come up with a pretty damn good counterargument. [1]

So next weekend, it looks like I'll be biting the bullet and upgrading to MT 3.x. This is probably a more difficult task than I'd expect, but we'll hope I can accomplish it with relatively few tears. Yes, it will cost me some money, but it will also give me access to the SpamLookup plugin. Hell, if Jay Allen (the guy behind MT Blacklist) raves about it, it's got to be good.

[1]: OK, so the death penalty for spamming is a bit over the top (but not exactly unheard of humour). Still, if one wanted to get into a Posneresque Law and Econ discussion about it, you could probably justify the death penalty for spammers. Figure that a given trackback spammer is costing me fifteen to twenty minutes a day cleaning up his rubbish. Then figure that he's probably doing that to thousands of people per day. Presuming we shorten his life by the amount of wasted time he's cost others, we probably need to hope that the culprit belongs to a religion that believes in reincarnation if we ever hope to get any form of justice.


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The Blacklist limit actually is somewhere over 4,000 (hitting it was what was causing my problem), but I'm still adding entries b/c I went through and deleted entries that already were covered by later additions. For example, you can get rid of dozens of entries just by adding "holdem" and "hold-em" to your Blacklist. The thing I've found most bothersome is that there are certain words that people may need to be able to use legitimately in a comment, such as "asian porn," so I can't add them to the blacklist.

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NOTICE TO SPAMMERS, COMMENT ROBOTS, TRACKBACK SPAMMERS AND OTHER NON-HUMAN VISITORS: No comment or trackback left via a robot is ever welcome at Three Years of Hell. Your interference imposes significant costs upon me and my legitimate users. The owner, user or affiliate who advertises using non-human visitors and leaves a comment or trackback on this site therefore agrees to the following: (a) they will pay fifty cents (US$0.50) to Anthony Rickey (hereinafter, the "Host") for every spam trackback or comment processed through any blogs hosted on threeyearsofhell.com, morgrave.com or housevirgo.com, irrespective of whether that comment or trackback is actually posted on the publicly-accessible site, such fees to cover Host's costs of hosting and bandwidth, time in tending to your comment or trackback and costs of enforcement; (b) if such comment or trackback is published on the publicly-accessible site, an additional fee of one dollar (US$1.00) per day per URL included in the comment or trackback for every day the comment or trackback remains publicly available, such fee to represent the value of publicity and search-engine placement advantages.

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