Deal with Spam

One of the challenges of using a public blogging software is spam.  However, with a bit of tweaking it is possible to prevent it from showing up on your site while still allowing friends to comment and discuss your posts.  Here’s what I did to set up on the GRS blog:

  1. From your dashboard, scroll down until you see the “Settings” tab
  2. Under “Settings“, select “Discussion
  3. Tweak the settings as you see fit.  I leave most of the defaults in place, but have found a few modifications helpful:
  • For “Email me whenever” I have unchecked both options since I check the blog almost every day.  For less frequent bloggers, you might like to check “A comment is held for moderation”.
  • Under “Other comment settings” I select the first, fourth and fifth boxes.  You could greatly reduce the amount of spam you get by selecting the the second box “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”.
  • Under “Before a comment appears” I select “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”.  That way, comments from spam producing computer robots get put in a holding queue before getting put on the site.  The downside is that the first time a new student comments they have to wait for me to approve it, and I do have to sift through some ugly spam ranging from how to lose ten kilos in ten days, to advertisements for youtube subscriptions.  Make sure you have at least one of these selected or you may have some unwanted surprises on your blog.
  • Under “Comment Moderation” you can enter keywords, email addresses, IP addresses, or URLs that frequently come up in spam.   Comments containing these word will be held for moderation until you approve them.
  • Under “Comment Blacklist” you can enter keywords, email addresses, IP addresses, or URLs for site/users which you know are spam.  Comments containing these words will be dumped into your spam folder.  Be careful not to include and keywords that actual comment writers might use.

*email if you’d like a copy of the Comment Moderation/Blacklist sites used for this blog

When you are done, don’t forget to click “Save Settings”

If you want a specific page or posting to follow a different set of rules than the ones you’ve created under “Settings“, open the page you’d like to modify for editing, then scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Under “Discussion” you can check or uncheck “Allow comments“.

The other option is to password protect your posts.  Next to your post in the “Publish” box you can password protect your post…use the same password as we use for the GRS discussions or no one will be able to read your blog though!

Comment if you have any trouble or questions regarding this process 🙂

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