Comments broken (now fixed)… why didn’t anyone say anything?

In my continuing quest to block out comment spam, I made a tweak last week to my SQL scripts. Instead of doing a full-text match to a list of banned comment titles (among other filters), I started doing a keyword match. So if, say, you use the name of a certain drug that can help Bob Dole, then the comment would be automatically filtered out. Because this was a hack, I didn’t do anything fancy like put filtered comments into a table so that I can know if I’m filtering out legit comments.

Which, it appears, came back to bite me in the rear. When moving my list of banned stuff from “full text” to “keyword,” I failed to delete a banned comment title named “re:“. Since that automatically appears in the comment title when you post, that means that only comments that changed the title have been getting through for a week. It really *seemed* quiet around here, didn’t it? Alert reader David Totzke finally sent me an email through the Contact form saying “what’s up with this?” Which led me to the problem, which led me to the fix. Many thanks go to David! (And, in the future, anyone can use the Contact form to let me know if something isn’t working!)

I apologize to anyone whose comments have gotten incorrectly booted…

8 thoughts on “Comments broken (now fixed)… why didn’t anyone say anything?

  1. Jeff Atwood

    I also suggest using a regex which blocks comments that have >5 URLs in them.. these are INVARIABLY spam. I don’t have it in front of me; it’s at work. I’ll add another comment later with it.

    Reply
  2. Eric Mutta

    Oh so *that’s* what was happening. I tried posting like 3 or 4 times, with different message bodies, names, etc and it all failed. I was beginning to think I’d been singled out for eternal obscurity :-). I would have used the feedback form, but had no clue where it was (or even if it existed).

    Reply
  3. Jeff Atwood

    OK, it’s not rocket science, but I recommend automatically rejecting posts with more than 5 URLs in them. I get a bunch of these in my comments, and unfortunately MT-Blacklist only understands single URL regexes.

    (http://[w-_.]+.[a-z]{2,}.*){5,}

    THis should definitely be .IgnoreCase (case-insensitive) and possibly .SingleLine (dot-matches-newline) if your post strings have cr/lf in them.

    Reply
  4. zzz

    I noticed the problem however the post I made was so useless (like this) that I did not get worked out over it enough to write a mail about having a problem posting silly comment..

    Anyhow Lets hope the CS will be here soon and does something about the comment spam.

    Reply
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  6. ????

    Oh so *that’s* what was happening. I tried posting like 3 or 4 times, with different message bodies, names, etc and it all failed. I was beginning to think I’d been singled out for eternal obscurity :-). I would have used the feedback form, but had no clue where it was (or even if it existed).

    Reply

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