My primary real estate blog, Phoenix Area Real Estate Blog, is starting to get a ridiculous number of spam comments lately. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the big boys, but for me, it’s a continual annoyance, with several hundred spam comments per week. Fortunately, the anti-spam software is working, and none of those comments are being seen by the public. I mean, if you saw what I see left, you’d probably get sick. The porn, pills, and whatnot that’s out there is seemingly limitless. But even though it doesn’t get to the live web site, it is still something I must manage on a continual basis, as occasionally, the software will mark as spam a comment that looks spammy, but was in fact legit.
With my problem framed, I’m considering the following solution: Close comments to any post older than XYZ months. Here’s why I’m thinking about doing this. Most of the spam is on older posts. Often posts that are very old…even older than a year. If I close comments to older posts, then the spammers are just that little bit thwarted. If I can cut the spam in half, I’d be elated. Perhaps it’ll work. Perhaps it won’t. I really don’t know, but I’m annoyed enough to give it a shot. The truth is, very few posts get a legitimate comment much after the first month or so. There are a few “superstar” posts I probably wouldn’t lock, but posts that clearly have no business being commented on now, are what I’m thinking about locking.
The question is, how long would it make sense to leave comments open? Could I hurt my community? Would anyone notice?