You must log in to comment on SEB.

For the first time in 12 years I’m requiring folks who wish to leave a comment to log in before being able to do so. The primary reason for this change is comment spam. Even though Akismet catches 99% of comment spam it only automatically deletes them on posts more than 60 days old. Any entries newer than that and it goes into a spam queue which I need to clean out periodically lest the database grow to unreasonable size. For the past several weeks the comment spam on newer entries has reached a rate of almost 4,000 comments a day. It actually takes several attempts to clean the queue because it takes so long it times out and it’s not unusual for there to be 4 or 6 new spam comments as soon as the screen refreshes on the last attempt to empty it. I tried looking for some form of unintrusive captcha that might slow the pace and nothing seems to work and if I’m going to have a more intrusive captcha I may as well just have you log in and be done with it. Since making the change several days ago there hasn’t been a single spam comment to delete.

The other reason why I’ve gone with this option is the fact that you don’t have to register an account on SEB to log into it. You can use any of a half-dozen other accounts you may already have to verify who you are. You can log into SEB using your credentials from Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Tumblr, and even Steam. If you don’t use any of those services then you can create an account right here on SEB. All that’s required is a username, email address, and a password. I will not sell your email address to any third party, ever. One advantage to logging in is a much simpler comment form.  Just one box for writing the comment.

Hopefully this won’t be too much of a burden for the regulars who drop by. The amount of comments from non-regulars was low enough as to not be an issue in this decision. I’m sorry to have to go this route, but the amount of time I was spending trying to keep comment spam at bay makes it a necessary change.

9 thoughts on “You must log in to comment on SEB.

  1. If signing in by Twitter, it required an email address as well as successful Twitter authentication. Not a big deal, but mildly surprising.

    I’m glad you avoided the captcha route. captchas are about the only reason I ever use the “zoom” functionality these days… barf.

  2. Hey Les, I just would like to tell a couple of things regarding this:

    1. I find it really strange that you get so many spam comments. 4,000 per day for a blog like this is way, way too many. Maybe changing the system somehow would solve the problem, if you have time for this.

    2. I tried to register for SEB, but something called “Sabre” told me that my ip address is banned and denied my registration. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t banned by you (I wrote a couple of comments under the nickname “iostream” before) and my ip is actually dynamic. I think it would be better if you allowed a registration regardless of ip address. Logging from social services may be OK for most people, but for me it’s mostly uncomfortable.

    Anyway, hopefully this will not affect much the comment rate…

  3. Mike, I do have WordPress set to require an email address so if Twitter doesn’t supply one then I wouldn’t be surprised if it asks for one.

    Daniel, I’m not sure why SEB has been such a heavy target as of late, but I kid you not on the amount of comment spam it gets daily and that’s not counting all the stuff that Akismet deletes without putting into the queue.

    Sabre is a plugin I use to keep the amount of spam registrations in check. It may block some dynamic DNS services by default. I’ve turned it off for now so you should be able to register an account if you wish. Hopefully I don’t end up with a ton of fake accounts.

  4. Wow, almost as soon as I turned off Sabre we started getting spam registrations through the social logins. Sorry, but I’m turning it back on.

  5. It worked! Now to comment.

    Spamming is all done with bots. The spammer sends out bots looking for key words, and if a keyword shows up anywhere, the site in question gets hit. So if you write about cajun chicken breast recipes, you’ll get hit with SPAM about Cajun women and their breasts.

  6. Not a problem. If your experience is anything like mine, it will reduce the number of comments you receive but improve their quality and reduce the spam. Worth it.

  7. Weird, I thought it had been this way for a while. I’ve been logging into SEB for years, because I couldn’t seem to comment otherwise. I must be going blind or tarded, or it was because I was trying to get all my online stuff linked together better, I honestly can’t remember.

    No problem here!

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