we antispammed blogspot and typepad!!!

So you know how some of you have had trouble with getting 500 Internal Server errors when you post comments? I’ve had the same trouble sometimes when posting – and when I’ve done so the problem has always been solved when I INSERT certain URLs in my post with tiny-URL translations of the URL. Which is weird.

I finally asked the IT department to try to figure out what was going on, and it turns out they’ve been using a spam filter at the server level to limit blog comment spam – and blogspot.com and typepad.com were on the blacklist because so much comment spam comes from blogs at those URLs! So any post or comment with a link to blogspot or typepad was causing a 500 Internal Server error. Obviously, a lot of excellent blogs blog at blogspot and typepad and so that caused trouble. This might also explain why people like Martin, who would have typed in his URL as being at blogspot, was always, always rejected. Super-sucky. But at least it wasn’t bad breath, Martin.

The friendly IT person I talked with characterised this as “a little strict” and has removed the spam filter to see how things go. I don’t know that that’s a great solution either, though – I mean, I’m very happy with my spam filter, Aksimet, which works wonderfully and has stopped nearly 20,000 spam comments since I installed it a few months ago. But other people setting up blogs at the university’s web hotel might not have spam filters – and that might cause trouble.

Mind you, Aksimet has stopped a thousand or so spams a week even WITH ModSecurity, the server-side spam filter stopping blogspot and typepad blogs. So obviously the ModSecurity and its blacklist simply isn’t good enough.

And may I apologise to anyone who’s not been able to post comments here – I’m really sorry! Hopefully it’ll all work now.

25. September 2006 by Jill

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