Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Excluding spammers

There is no fate too cruel to be inflicted upon the lowlife that pollute the Internet with unwanted messages. And I don't just mean the mindless morons that send an endless stream of emails offering unwanted pharmaceutical products and fake designer goods to my inbox. I'm talking about the vermin who pollute forums, blog comment sections and guest books with their irrelevant and often offensive comments, which waste my time deleting them.

One of the ham radio websites I run is Ham Directory. I started it a couple of years ago after finding a free web directory script on the 'net. I thought that a searchable, categorized directory of links to ham radio sites that users themselves could submit to would be better than the endless lists of often dead links at places like DXZone or AC6V.com.

The rules for inclusion are clear. Any submitted site must be of direct relevance to amateur radio. Anything else will be rejected. But every time I go to check for new submissions I find links for data recovery software and various other irrelevant stuff.

Can't these people read? Obviously they can. One of the things I tried to stop them was to make submitters answer a simple ham radio related question: 14.2MHz is in the ?? meter band. That worked for a bit, then somebody worked it out. Next I tried: The IC756PRO is made by which manufacturer? That lasted about a week (I suppose they Googled the answer to it.)

Out of desperation I am trying a "morse captcha". You have to type in a word that is spelled out in morse (sorry, no-coders.) I wonder how long that will keep the unwanted submissions out?
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