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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Announcement: Change to Commenting Policy

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Walski reckons that this had to happen sooner of later. And it’s not the fault of myAsylum’s regular readership either. No, blame the comment bots that have been visiting since sometime early this year, in January.

Image taken from Now Public (click to view source), hosting by Photobucket By and large, these have been comments leaving dynamic URLs to naughty chat sites, left by so-called ‘users’ with names such as 于珊, 家弘, and the like, complete with Blogger profile pages, and even blogs associated with them.

Since Walski’s blogging activity has tremendously slowed down of late, it appears the only comments have been coming from these types of spammers. It’s one thing if these sites are interesting ones (and no, he doesn’t have anything against non-harmful porn sites) – but they aren’t. And frankly, a total waste of bandwidth.

So here’s a necessary policy change: while Walski has been considering instituting Comment Moderation for a while now, before he takes that step, what he’ll do for the time being is to institute Word Verification before a comment can go through.

Sorry for the inconvenience, but since the spammers don’t link to any porn or adult site interesting enough by Walski’s standards, these spam comments are simply a waste of space.
(myAsylum Commenting Policy explained, and more, in the full post)

And while we’re on the subject of Commenting Policy, Walski might as well expand a little bit more on the “policy” this blog enforces:

  • Almost anything goes – this is the Fundamental Principle. Walski, for one, is against censorship, and therefore is very tolerant when it comes to comments left on this blog.
  • Comments must be relevant – preferably to the post being commented on, but not necessarily. There have been off-topic links left in the comments, but to relevant issues at the time. These will be left unscathed. The uninteresting pay-to-naughty-chat type of sites, however, does not pass the relevancy litmus test.
  • Dissent is allowed, even encouraged – you don’t agree with what Walski writes? Fine – it’s your right to dissent. But if possible, do keep it civil and intelligent. That said, unintelligent and unnecessarily hostile dissent will be subject to ridicule – consider this a notice.

And that's about it for Commenting Policy. As a self-professed liberal, the commenting policy is just that – liberal.

That said – spam may be tolerated, for a time. 6 months is long enough, Walski thinks, and it’s time to do something about it.

He’s decided not to institute moderation straight away, because word verification usually gets rid of the bots, although not always, and not always 100%. Besides, the word verification technique Blogger uses is of the classic CAPTCHA EZ-Gimpy variety, and supposedly there is technology to overcome this.

Comment Moderation, however, requires more work on Walski’s part, and quite frankly he’d like to avoid that, if possible.

So, let’s see how the CAPTCHA filtering method works for a while. If the uninteresting linkage spam still persists, then it’s probably being done by some idiot behind the keyboard with nothing better to do (and probably getting paid for it), or some really super-intelligent bot.

For now, he will settle on the CAPTCHA method, and see how well that works. Again, sorry for the inconvenience, but Walski’s only human, and his patience does have its limits…

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