The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

26 May 2006

Moderation in all things

The previous entry generated some seven hundred comments — not here, of course, but at the British Broadcasting Corporation, where they're beta-testing something called "Have Your Say."

The Beeb's comment system is set up for two different levels of moderation, as follows:

1 — Fully Moderated.
This is also known as pre-moderation. Every comment submitted to a fully moderated discussion has to be checked by a BBC moderator before it is published on the site. We try to publish as many comments as we can but unfortunately, due to the volume of comments we receive every day, we cannot guarantee that all comments submitted will be published.

2 — Reactively moderated.
If a discussion is reactively moderated and you are a registered member, your comment will be published directly to the site. However, if you are not a registered member, your comment will still have to be approved by a BBC moderator before it is published. Again, we cannot guarantee that all comments submitted will be published.

Since at some point I expect to be forced into comment moderation by the sheer volume of spammage, I'm hoping to be able to implement some variation on theme #2 in preference to #1, inasmuch as most of the regulars here have generally demonstrated themselves to be trustworthy, and besides, I don't get nearly the traffic that the BBC does.

Posted at 6:21 AM to Blogorrhea


Charles, you might check the spam blocker they are using over at the Rott. It seems to be doing a pretty good job and they have been fairly pleased with it.

Posted by: anomdragon at 8:32 AM on 26 May 2006

I can attest to the fact that #1 is not a fun way to run things, even with as few comments as I get.

Posted by: Steve G. at 12:27 PM on 26 May 2006

I'm just lulling you into a false sense of security. Soon I shall unleash my l337 comment spamming software and reap million$ avertising V1a*gRa.

Posted by: Dan at 1:10 PM on 26 May 2006

Adding an extra word verification step has eliminated the comment spam problem on my blog. I had to insert a few lines of code here and there, but it was pretty simple with instructions. Have you searched for that kind of solution for MT?

Posted by: MikeH at 1:58 PM on 26 May 2006

I thought you had that MT doohickey that auto-closes old comment threads precisely to stave off spam.

As for the CAPTCHA scheme MikeH mentions, I know you deal with that on my blog sometimes, and it does help -- but auto-closing old threads always did more to control spam for me than anything else. Of course, as in all things Internet, a multiplicity of obstacles works best.

I even have a doohickey now for EE that allows me to close old posts to trackback pings, since TB spam was the last remaining annoyance for me, and it's made more of a difference than anything else EE has offered.

Unfortunately, if I were looking at switching to EE today, I couldn't afford it. :-(

Posted by: McGehee at 7:59 AM on 27 May 2006

Well, it does close off old threads; unfortunately, the bastiges are now attacking newer threads.

Most of the serious spam-fighting tools for MT don't work with versions this old, so I'm going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade to 3.2 (3.3 is about to come out in beta), which has an array of built-in spam foils.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:42 AM on 27 May 2006