Well, heck. Here I spent the week working on anti-spam hacks only to find that today TypePad added the ability to require CAPTCHAs for unauthenticated commenters. From Everything TypePad:
You can now require unauthenticated commenters (who don’t sign in through TypeKey) to pass a CAPTCHA test
before their comment is posted to your blog. The CAPTCHA (a
""completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans
apart") will help prevent automated robots from posting comment spam to
You might want to read the original post to see the five new bug fixes that were announced today also.
To enable CAPTCHAs:
- Go to the Configure tab for the blog you want to change
- Click on preferences in the sub-menu
- Scroll down to Comment and TrackBack Preferences
- Check the box that says "Require unauthenticated commenters to validate with a CAPTCHA."
- Don’t forget to save changes at the bottom of the page and republish your blog.
This is a good step forward, though I don’t feel that CAPTCHAs are the best strategy long-term for eradicating comment spam. Personally, I hate having to fill in CAPTCHA fields because they
are often hard to read. So far, I’ve always managed to get the
word right the first time with TypePad’s CAPTCHAs, so I’m gonna call
this a very good thing.
What I’d really love to be able to do is prohibit specific URLS from being used in comments or trackbacksâ€” it’s easy to fake a name, it’s simple enough to use dynamic IPs,but since the URL is the only reason spammers hit blogs, blocking the links would just ruin the game for them. Also, names and IPs can be generated for free. Blocking URLs would require spam commenters to register massive numbers of domain, making spam less profitable.
Meanwhile, I’m still working on an advanced template hack that will turn off trackbacks site-wide. It’s proving to be a bit more difficult than expected, but should be ready soon.