We Hear You: Our spam filtering needs to be improved

Like most website administrators, I have a long history of fighting spammers and protecting my sites from unwanted content. Over the years I've used a lot of tools and services to block spam from reaching the pages of my sites. In recent years, the service I've relied on most heavily is Mollom.  Mollom is a web service that helps you identify content quality and, more importantly, helps you stop spam on your blog, social network or community website

Overall I've been very happy with the spam filterering Mollom provides for my sites. Mollom LogoHowever, occasionally Mollom can be too aggressive and remove legitimate story and comment submissions. And when I say "remove" I most definately intend to use the word in the literal way. You see, up to now, Mollom had an "all or none" approach to rejecting or accepting spam. When your stories or comments were rejected, the content submission was simply discarded without review by a human.

If you've ever submitted good clean content to CMSReport.com or another site only to only have it identified and discarded as spam, you have every right to be upset with spam filters. Over the past couple months, I've had a number of people upset that the spam filtering CMS Report has been using rejected their story submission. This may not be all the fault of Mollom either as I was also using the Bad Behavior module too. My apologies to everyone that has gone through this experience when they've submitted legitimate comments and stories to this site. Unfortunately, without spam filtering the content on this site would not be good to view. Spam filtering is a necessary part of maintaining a site open to the public.

Luckily, there has been some improvements in the Mollom for Drupal module that should keep your posts and comments from getting discarded while continuing to protect this site from spam. The module has now been improved to to retain spam comments as unpublished posts in a site's moderation queue. So we're giving the new module a try. I won't promise that your content will not be identified as spam, but I do promise you that every intent is being made to review your comments and stories for publication.

Dries Buytaert has a nice review on his blog of all the improvements in this latest version of the Drupal Mollom module. In summary the improvements include:

  • A moderation que to review content that has been identified as spam. Web administrators will have the ability to publish good content that have inappropriately been identified as spam.
  • Better protection for user registration forms by the use of text analysis.
  • A hidden honeypot that will help better identify spambot submissions due to improper form submissions.

So my fingers are crossed that the improvements the module developers have made will improve the submit a story or submit a comment experience here at CMSReport.com. If not, I'll continue to look at alternatives to Mollom or work with the Mollom folks in helping identify how they can improve their services.

If you ever do run into an issue submitting a story or comment to this site, feel free to contact me. If that doesn't work, I can also be reached via Twitter at @cmsreport.