Duck! and Gather

Crude Filter

Posted on: August 11, 2006

Due to all the spam comments I’m getting, I’ve set my WordPress options to hold in the moderation queue any comment that contains so much as one link. That sucks because the folks who tend to comment on this blog — Sean LeBlanc, And I, and Tom Brown, to name a few — tend to have interesting blogs of their own that they enter as links to their comments. I’d urge you to check those blogs out.

The problem is that spammers who are trying to send you to Viagra or porn or Phentermine or other such sites also often include only one link in their comment. I haven’t found an elegant feature in WordPress that allows me to distinguish useful comments from spam. And I don’t want to make commenters register.

So, for now, the best I can do is to put all comments in a moderation queue, and approve the useful ones as they come through. That happened this morning when Sean posted an interesting comment on “Finding the Joy in Operations”. So there will be a delay between the time you issue a comment, and when it appears on the site — the delay determined by how far away I am from my Mac. Sorry.

p.s. There’s an obvious but interesting “fighting terrorism” analogy here — but hey, I’ve said enough on this score for one morning.

3 Responses to "Crude Filter"

You may want to check out Akismet: http://akismet.com/. I only know of it because Brandon over at devnulled.com mentioned he extended CF to work with it…http://devnulled.com/content/2006/08/announcing-cfakismet-stop-comment-and-trackback-spam/.

It looks like newest version of WordPress already has this integration.

Of course, this comment will be placed in temp limbo because of links. 🙂

Thanks Sean. I tried activating Askimet in WordPress, but couldn’t do it. My WordPress blog is hosted as a service by my hosting provider, PagesGarden. That’s why my URI is psavich.com/DuckWP, rather than duckWP.wordpress.com. As far as I can tell, WordPress allows you to install Askimet only in the latter case. That is, you have to have an account with wordpress.com to get an API key that allows you to use Askimet.

Kind of sucky, I think. WordPress started as a free hobby by Matt Mullenweg. But then it became so popular that Matt has now hooked WordPress up with a for-profit company called Automattic (http://automattic.com/) the CEO of which is a really nice guy I know named Toni Schneider.

I assume this is Matt’s way of trying to make a buck off of his great effort. I suppose that makes Matt pretty much like the other 99.999% of us people in this country. This is what makes Linus Torvalds of Linux, Craig Newmark of craigslist.org, and Jimmy Wales of wikipedia.org so extraordinary. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think those guys have yet tried to make big bucks off of their respective community phenomena.

Anyway, I may be wrong, but I suspect that the reason WordPress doesn’t provide API keys to blogs like mine is that they’d like all WP blogs to come under the wordpress.com banner. I suspect there’s probably some business interests of Automattic that favor this.

I don’t know. I’m just guessing. I may be completely wrong on these assumptions. But one thing I’ve learned is that when anything seems fucked up in our culture, ask yourself “Where does the money trail lead?”, and most everytime you’ll find the answer for the fuck up.

Postscript: I exchanged some mail with the support team for WordPress and they set the API key to work with my third party hosted version of WP. So it looks like this issue with WP is one of oversight, rather than one driven by money concerns. This is not surprising, of course. WP is a young outfit, and its relationship to Automattic is younger still.

But at some point, WordPress/Automattic, like any for-profit institution, will have to choose between money and serving human interests. This is because money is an abstract notion, while humanity is organic. Accordingly the two, of necessity, must conflict from time to time. But with WordPress, that time has not yet come.

Comments are closed.

for the money has gone too far

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