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: Technorati founder Dave Sifry suggests the only way to kill comment spam is to kill comments and instead expect reaction to one blog post on other blogs, with the links between the two made by — surprise! — Technorati. I disagree. Comments are more immediate; comments are a dialogue on location; comments can also be a pain when idiots and asses join in; but comments are worth it.

  • I couldn’t let this post stay commentless ;)
    For the record I agree, comments are a Good Thing, but the trackback/technorati method is better for really developing a discussion as people have a tendency to troll less on their own blog than as anonymous commenters.

  • Seems like commenters being authenticated would help with that, no?

  • Dave Sifry argues against that; I’ll let him make that argument.
    I still like comments.
    And authentication is a misnomer; it’s merely a speedbump in the way of those who have not taken their meds. We can create email addresses aplenty ( and “authenticate” there.
    What’s more valuable — blogs (and, I hope, your new service, Anil) can do is get people to invest at least in an identify (real or not) so they misbehave less. That won’t work all the time.

  • so, um, this would be the wrong thread in which to pitch Vi@gra, Ci@lis, and natural male enhancement?

  • MT Blacklist is working well for me. It lets me look at all comments — most recent listed first — so I can spot the spam.

  • KMK

    Ticketmaster had a problem with online ticket sales, automated computers programs were buying tickets for agents and not enough individual buyers were getting to buy tickets. First came a ticket limit. The agents bypassed that by using different address’s and credit cards to purchase. Now the have a password you have to type in that can’t be read by a computer program.
    I was on Stephen Pollard’s blog and noticed he used the same thing in his comments section. He’s called it an anti-spambot turning code. Pretty damn crafty. Individuals leaving spam would be a different matter but by using this type of system I think you would cut down on the large part of your bot spam.

  • I don’t think anybody’s arguing authentication solves spamming, but that tools like TypeKey and Blogger’s comment authentication help to encourage the maintenance of an identity, as you’ve mentioned, or to at least allow a way to manage a commenter across your entire site, instead of one comment at a time.

  • felixrayman

    I don’t read blogs I can’t talk back to. Left wing, right wing, doesn’t matter. If I can’t click a button and register my opinion, I don’t bother to read them.
    If I wanted to be be dictated to, I’d watch the network news.

  • Anonymous Commentator

    I have to agree with Jarvis’ on this, but for different reasons. If people are forced to use their blogs to respond to posts on other people’s blogs, it degrades the quality of their own blog by diluting the content. If you run a blog about horse breeding, your readers aren’t going to want to read comments on libertarianism and 802.11 wifi which you posted as replies.