The War on Spam is Over: I Won

Oh yes, it's true. I'm declaring victory over spam. After years of Viagra ads in my inbox and torrents of spam comments hitting our website, I've finally rid myself of dealing with the vast majority of the spam I have to deal with. How did I beat the spammers? How is it that I deal with almost no spam comments on our blog and see a junk e-mail once every month or two?

To keep our blog spam-free, I use a combination of Akismet and Bad Behavior to lock out the spammers once and for all. Bad Behavior looks at a request to our blog and if it looks suspicious, it refuses it, displaying an error page that a human will understand but a spambot will not. Anything that slips through is then checked by Akismet against a database of millions of spam comments to see if it looks like or has been reported as spam. The last check, comment moderation, catches those one out of a hundred (literally) spam messages that Akismet may not catch. The result? I've had to delete less than 50 spam comments in the last 2 months compared with almost 75 a month before Bad Behavior. All of this is with minimal inconvenience to the commenter: no verification words (called CAPTCHAS), no user registration, and no e-mail confirmations.

My e-mail is nice and clean too. No, I don't use an expensive spam-filtering program, and I'm not particularly judicious about not posting my e-mail address on public pages. I just use Gmail, Google's free e-mail service. They unleashed a combination of spam reporting with their amazing search technology to keep my inbox spam-free. I have to manually flag something as spam maybe once every month or two, and I have almost no false-positives in my junk mail folder. (If you need an invite, let me know. I have a hundred of them still.)

It's the power of collaborative spam reporting. There are a lot more of us than there are spammers, and we're more than happy to quickly flag something is spam to keep it from coming. With millions of us reporting these to every-growing databases used by smarter and smarter analysis tools, it's already becoming very hard for spammers to get things to sneak through. Right now, they depend on us using inferior mail services *cough*Hotmail*cough* or not take the time to setup anti-spam tools on our blogs to keep them from bombarding them with ads for porn and pills.

So why are you still dealing with spam when there's so many good tools to defeat it? Arm yourself and declare victory like I did.

You may also like...

7 Responses

  1. Kipluck says:

    I am a fan of gmail and it gets almost all of them filtered.

  2. Colleen says:

    I need gmail. My inbox is full of spam!

  3. bestsariah says:

    That’s weird, because my Gmail gets about 5 pieces of crap in it a week, and I don’t even use it for anything. Yahoo is the only one that doesn’t allow spam in my inbox.

  4. Glen says:

    Gmail is da bomb for me. I freaking love it.

  5. Jason says:

    I have the same problem. My gmail is decent, but I get about 5-10 pieces of junk a day that I forward to Spam, with only having to do the same the next day.

  6. Shauna says:

    I think about 10 pieces of spam have made it to my gmail inbox since I opened it over 2 years ago. Probably less than 10 even.

  1. May 9, 2007

    […] Now I'm wondering why I didn't switch sooner. So far, it has a 100% accuracy rate in telling me what is and is not spam. I even dropped in a plugin that allows you to use Akismet as one of the scoring mechanisms. In conjunction with http:BL and Bad Behavior, I think we're even more bullet-proof than I may have previously declared. […]

Leave a Reply