Spam Wars, Part 3

Long-time readers will know of my obsessive-compulsive war against spam; a war I’m guaranteed to lose over time, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to win a few battles. Anyway, I wanted to share my latest small victory with fellow users of the WordPress blog software. I’ve discovered a plugin called Hashcash that, when combined with Akismet, stops 99.9% of spam from getting through. Better yet, neither plugin presents a significant burden to readers (unlike my old captcha plugin), and the combined false-positive rate appears to be extremely low as well. The only downside to Hashcash is that it blocks comments from non-Javascript-friendly browsers, but few enough people fall into that trap that I’m OK with it.

Unfortunately, as Hashcash becomes more popular, it is inevitable that someone will find a way to circumvent it, and their solution will spread quickly amongst spammers. But in the meantime, kudos to the author of the plugin — I recommend that other users of WordPress check it out.

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