Spam is bad, and here at blogjam I’m determined to fight the spam wars in my own small way. I use a spam filter which catches about 99% of incoming adverts for phentermine, viagra, zyban, valtex, xenical, adipex, increasing penis-size agents, debt consolidation and cheap sluts with farmyard animals. On this site I’ve installed the mt-blacklist plugin which currently blocks about 5-10 attempts each day to leave spam messages in the comments. If you examine the source code to my homepage you’ll also notice the presence of a spidertrap, a link to a script that bars rogue web crawlers and address harvesters from examining the site in any great detail (don’t try to follow this hidden link yourself, you’ll just get barred from the site).
Now this is where it gets a little interesting (I’m assuming at this point that you, like me, don’t have a real life). Web crawlers run by reputable companies are more than welcome to examine my site – this is, after all, how blogjam appears in the various search engines and how online entities like blogdex and technorati are compiled. To ensure that these companies don’t fall into the spidertrap, I’ve got a small file that should be read by their robots. This file tells the bot where it is allowed to look – and where it shouldn’t, where the spidertrap awaits. The idea is that rogue bots and spam harvesters will ignore this file and fall into the trap, while decent folk like Google, for instance, will abide by the rules and happily proceed with indexing my site.
And the point of this inordinately dull rant? It appears as though I’m still losing the battle with the spammers. Every day for the last week I’ve received several hundred e-mails notifying me of delivery failure for e-mails that appear to have been sent from my own domain. Blogjam is apparently sending out thousands of spam mails with subjects like “Web Based Pharmacy Overnights Meds To You”, “Attain Prozac instantly” and “The Internet’s Best Pharmacy Choice” which generally point the lucky recipient in the direction of a variety of online American pill dispensers. My hosting company ensures me that these mails don’t actually come from my domain, that I haven’t been hijacked, and that the ‘from’ addresses are being spoofed, but it’s still a disheartening experience. All over the World innocent people are getting spam from ‘me,’ and my formerly unblemished reputation is in tatters. Naturally, I’m devastated.
Finally, apologies to the blogjam reader who accessed the site using Google’s HTML-WML gateway on a Sony Erricsson T610 at 21.28 this evening. The spidertrap wasn’t meant to catch you out. You can now try again.