There has been more blog maintenance over the last month, and today I attempted to install the MT-Approval plugin.
It didn’t seem to work. After I installed it, I couldn’t comment at all. There is a tag missing or in the wrong place in my individual entry template. I have removed the plug in and will live without it until I can get it set up properly. When I get it installed – if I do – it will change the comment procedure. Commenters will have to preview the comment before being able to post a comment. At that stage the plugin adds some extra hashes to the comment. These steps will foil spamming spider programs. I don’t know if this will reduce the flow of comments that MT-Blacklist has to filter – that’s my hope.
I sat down on Christmas Eve and installed the latest MT upgrade, to version 3.14. Having gone through a few earlier upgrades, and having installed an FTP client, a smooth enough process. MT is still sort of nerd’s toy. The files have to be uploaded to the right directories, some cgi files have to have their attributes checked. This upgrade was needed because spam attacks were interacting with MT and pages were being rebuilt, even though the comments were being moderated or blocked by MT itelf or by MT-Blacklist. This was causing server load issues for many users. MT-B releases a bugfixed version which I installed at the same time.
MT-Blacklist has been stopping most spam, but some spammers began to get around it by changing the way they wrote URL’s. In order to keep blocking the daily gambling and online drug sales spam, I included terms like “poker”, “online casino” as strings. This means that a post that uses those exact words in any way, anywhere, will get blocked. Try it.
I got really annoyed with the volume of spam in my MT-Blacklist log. MT released its guide to fighting comment spam, and I have started to implement more security. The guide did not directly mention MT-Approval (in fact this plug-in is not in the MT Plugin gallery yet and after trying to install it I can see why) but it talked about the concept and I thought I would try it.