Squarespace: What's a comment spam filter to you?

You may have noticed that this Blog is now hosted on SquareSpace. I've been pretty happy with it so far. While it is kind of a closed system, there are extensive customization features that allow me to get pretty much what I want.

And their support is 24x7 and very responsive. Although not necessarily always helpful. Note that I am not the first to observe this. Joannes Vermorel's Blog says:

"The feedback from the Squarespace support has always two properties:

  • Extremely fast, my tickets are addressed within minutes.
  • Extremely useless, canned answers constantly suggest trivial but vastly unsatisfying solutions." (from Joannes Vermorel's Blog)

But this post is about comment spam. One of the key requirements I had was that the new blog service would have comment spam filtering.

What is comment spam filtering? There are spammers out there that write a script that just runs through all your posts and write comments on them, with URLs pointing back to their site. It's a pretty standard way of manipulating search rankings and driving traffic to your site.

While SquareSpace insists, and seems to believe that they have comment spam filtering, it doesn't work at all. I noticed by the way, that I am not the first to observe this. Joannes Vermorel's Blog also says:

"Yesterday for the 10th time or so, I have been sending a ticket to Squarespace - the company hosting this very blog - support to improve their abysmal spam filter (inexistent actually) for blog comments.

This is rather frustrating esperience to delete about 10 spam comments on a daily basis just because Squarespace can't manage to do things right in this area. Worse, people have been quitting Squarespace for years for this very reason - spam comment being the No1 reason quoted for the change." (from Joannes Vermorel's Blog)

Yes I could password protect or IP filter my comments. But if I want to allow people to easily add comments I open the door to comment spam.

As I write this I am manually deleting hundreds of identical comments, each from the same site, each with the same title and text. Clearly SquareSpace's spam filter isn't doing its job eh?

Posted on December 14, 2011 .