Trackback Spam

I’m starting to get a little pissed off with spammers. They have a new little trick called trackback spam that they implemented once everyone figured out how to kill comment spam. Well, lo and behold, there’s no plugin to curb trackback spam, and the only solutions seem to be either to turn on moderation (still deleting by hand), slow down the bots (deleting still), or turn off trackbacks altogether (stupid).

I think the simple algorithm for fixing trackback spam is going to be something like this:

– flat out reject open proxy trackbacks (MovableType has a DNS blacklist plugin like this)
– moderation on all trackbacks for posts older than X days
– spam pattern detection

That’s probably shy of being all-inclusive, but it would be a great start. I really hate cleaning out 400 spam trackbacks each day and the 400 accompanying notification emails. The thing that annoys me about this kind of spam is that you have to be quick and delete that shit. It’s just like a broken window analogy: if you let one broken window go without being fixed, pretty soon all the windows are broken.

Hopefully someone will come up with a solution soon.

UPDATE: Spam Karma has some experimental TB spam blocking. It’s been working awesome for comment spam, so we’ll see how well it kills trackback spam.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. There is in the 2.04b version of MTBlacklist for movabletype. Might want to tell the person who ported blacklist to WP to check into updating the WP plugin.

  2. I’m getting hit just a bad. Another possible solution might be to have a downloadable list (like with anti-virus services) of spam IP addresses. Blocking addresses on at a time can’t work, as they come up with new IP addys faster than they can be hand entered. But a national registry of known spam addys might be able to be used – if people will report abuse to such a registry.