how to stop guestbook spamming
March 12, 2007 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Does anybody know what to do about guestbook spamming? I've started getting spam on my guestbook and I can't get rid of it. Thanks.
posted by spunk to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
A lot of people use captchas to stop spammers. It's only for the automated kind, though.
posted by Many bubbles at 7:53 PM on March 12, 2007

You have a "guestbook"? You do know we left the 90's a while ago, right? :-P

Another alternative to captchas is blocking specific words or phrases, or blocking any posts with more than one link, etc. Make sure to strip out any html and javascript as well.
posted by jesirose at 9:23 PM on March 12, 2007

Spam is everywhere. Either find a plugin for whatever guestbook you're using (plugins like Aksimet or captchas) or just resign yourself to deleting it.
posted by IndigoRain at 9:23 PM on March 12, 2007

We need to know; what software are you using to run this "guestbook"? Something third party you've installed? Something you've written yourself?

There is an idea floating around that you can do this:

1. Include extra fields in the form people submit.
2. Hide these fields using CSS.
3. When the form is submitted, check the contents of these fields - if there's anything in them, then a bot has probably filled them in, and you can reject the submission. Ordinary users shouldn't see them, because they are visually hidden, and will leave them empty.

This method isn't perfect (one can imagine spam bots will eventually get smart enough to start checking the CSS attributes) but it might improve things a bit, assuming you have the ability to modify the script that's running your guestbook.
posted by Jimbob at 9:51 PM on March 12, 2007


"Guest books."

Do people sign them?


I like "Can you pass math?"

It was a plugin for Wordpress that asks a simple arithmetic question that the submitter must complete in order to submit. Now, you *can* write CAPTCHA/math-beating spambots, but meh, no worries there really.
posted by disillusioned at 10:08 PM on March 12, 2007

A New CAPTCHA Approach
posted by krisjohn at 11:19 PM on March 12, 2007

You need Lazarus Guestbook, a replacement for Advanced Guestbook script (by Proxy2). It has "several layers" of anti-spam measures, including captcha. Migrating from your current guestbook (which may well be Advanced Guestbook) shouldn't be an issue.
posted by dance at 4:59 AM on March 13, 2007

Captchas are one approach but I've found that Akismet blocks around 92% of all my spam. I liked it so much that I wrote a small PHP class to help:


It works for me, it may well work for you too.
posted by gaby at 5:25 AM on March 13, 2007

It might help to make sure your guestbook doesn't have the filename "guestbook.html" or something similar. Obviously the spiders will find it somehow, but they'll have to work harder.
posted by hodyoaten at 7:37 AM on March 13, 2007

As hodyoaten suggests, change the name of the guestbook and the submission page to something that is not going to be guessed by a spider. I did this on a guestbook for a friend a while ago and the spam messages stopped.
posted by camcgee at 10:54 AM on March 13, 2007

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