Another way to inconvenience spammers

Two posts in particular on here receive almost all the comment spam.  I have changed them both to say “Do not post comments here, they will be spam-trapped” which should prevent mortals falling foul of the mechanisms attached to those two posts.

I tried an experiment the other day and made them password-protected.  So the link the spammers use to get to those pages still works, but they cannot post anything.  This has – for the time being – stopped much of the spam.

I expect in due course they will just pick another ppst and target that instead.

Spam trap

I seem to have created a spam trap, or, at least, most if it is falling into a black hole.

My preferred spam tool was a Captcha tool that made you rotate an image and only when it was lined up could you post a comment.  That stopped working and would not any comments through so I had to disable it.  As soon as I did so, Woosh! the comment spam starts reappearing.

Most of it gets created against one specific post, for some reason.  Anyway, I had an idea.  I created that post again and gave it a different permalink.  A redirection  from the old permalink to the new was automagically created by WordPress, although I have no idea how.

Now the copy of the page appears but the original version does not.  However, the spam is being posted to the original page; presumably because they are going direct to the /id=nnn link rather than the permalink.

Rather than delete the page and risk the spammers picking a new one to post their spam to, I’ll just leave it there.

What I need now is a WordPress plugin that says “For any comment posted on this page, delete it and blacklist the IP address”.  That would turn my spam black hole into a honeytrap.

What a drain having a blog is

Trying to look after a WordPress blog is an enormous drain on your time.

There are the perpetual updates to WordPress, each of which means a backup of your web site first.

There are the theme updates which mean lots of testing to see what they break.

The battle with spam is a daily chore, distraction and annoyance.

Trying to find add-ins which work is another time-waster. I cannot find one which both works and yet does not silently lose valid comments. Capchas reduce it a little but are an annoyance. Akismet is as buggy as hell and makes valid comments silently disappear. Blacklisting iPs does not work. Keyword blocking does not work much.

I had such great plans, but all the spare time I want to devote to writing is spent in maintaining the WordPress product and deleting the spam.

It is all such a dreadful waste of my time and energy.

Tag lines and elevator pitches

It is hard to come up with pithy, accurate and succinct tag lines, elevator pitches (yuck) for one’s self.  But I heard a few lines from Tom Tom Club‘s Wordy Rappinghood which goes:

Words of comfort, words of peace

Words to make the fighting cease


I like that, for the No New Wars concept.  Maybe with a slight change:

Words of counsel, words of peace

Words to make all fighting cease


A bit better than:

Let’s all work to stop new wars starting

Feedback is good, good feedback is great

Having decided to do an Open University degree to learn about conflict management and war prevention, I researched what modules are available and found myself rather spoiled for choice as they include:

  • Introducing the social sciences
  • Law – Rules, rights and justice: an introduction to law
  • The uses of social science
  • Power, dissent, equality: understanding contemporary politics
  • Exploring psychology
  • International development: making sense of a changing world
  • Welfare, crime and society
  • Living political ideas
  • A world of whose making?
  • Making social worlds
  • Europe 1914-1989 War, Peace, Modernity
  • Crime and Justice
  • Business, human rights law and corporate social responsibility
  • War, Intervention and Development

So I enrolled.  Then, a couple of days ago, the Open University had a table in my local library talking about the OU and what one could do.  A nice bit of synergy.  A two minute chat lasted best part of an hour.  One of the professors – a tutor for local students – said her PhD was in war studies.  Anyway, I ran my plan by her and she was very impressed with my plan and approach, which is very reassuring.

I went to a Drupal North West User Group Meeting last night in Manchester and had the chance to talk to a few people who had used a few CMS (Content Management System) products.  I have tried a number of CMS and related products this past few years, for example there’s my own wiki and this WordPress blog.  However, I had already decided to use Drupal for the 11112018 site and was told a number of times that I had chosen the right platform for what will be a complex site, which is very reassuring.

WordPress issues

How thoroughly marvellous! Have a blog for 5 minutes and the issues start.

I re-began this just as a massive global botnet attack started on WordPress sites, using brute-force to try to break into admin accounts.

The last 5 days have been lost as I worked out why I couldn’t log in at all (the hosting company’s temporary security measure), then deleted the admin account (and created a new one with a different name) and downgraded myself from an administrator to have less powerful user rights. But now I’m back online and can post again. With login attempt tracking installed, captchas needed to do most anything and everything up-to-date software-wise.

What a tedious waste of time and energy, and an unnecessary distraction. Not just for me, but probably for millions of other WordPress site owners and users worldwide.