Fight spam by closing comments on older posts

One of the evil tricks that spammers get up to is to go into the older posts of your blog and spam the comments. In many cases, closing comments on these old posts will stop spammers from attacking your blog. Blog posts, like internet forum posts, have a life span. When you write a new post, it gets its most comments when you initially publish it. As time goes by, the legitimate comments just stop coming. While sometimes, you may written about a topic that just keeps the conversation going and going for months, chances are most of your posts have reached their conversational life span.

The spammers know this, so they dig back into your archives, leave spammy comments and hope you won’t notice. There is a setting in your blog’s dashboard that allows you to close the comments on older posts. You set in days, so you can decide how old you want posts to get before your blog automatically closes the comments form. You’ll find the place to do this in your dashboard under Settings -> Discussion. If you are getting hit hard with spammers on your older posts, turn this feature on and it will automatically reduce the number of places spammers can target you. Check out the setting in the image below, click to enlarge it to get a better view.

Don’t worry, closing the comments does not hide existing comments, it just closes the ability to add new ones. The great conversations that your readers had about your post will still be displayed. While when new, legitimate readers stumble upon your blog through one of your old blog posts they won’t be able to post comments, it is generally bad form to revive a dead topic. Besides, you should be wowing them with great, fresh content anyhow on your home page.

Comments

  1. lazyliteratus

    Oh, but I adore the black market Louis Vitton/Gucci seller comments. They make my day. [sarcasm]

  2. Ricardo Caicedo

    Some posts are timeless, like for example how-to posts. The more legitimate comments it gets the more social proof it has, no matter if most of them happened years ago. Not being able to leave comments also tells readers that the post really is dead.

    Won’t spammers spam your new posts anyway? A lot of spam is made by bots, they don’t care if you make it hard for them or not, they’ll continue spamming just because.

    I agree, however, that some posts by their nature will really be dead quickly, and that you should continue producing fresh content.

    1. Peter

      Timeless posts, yes, the more they get the better. But you can allow comments manually on specific posts, if needed. If one is identified, then you can open it up. They could comment on the new posts, but on older, well indexed sites, with a deep post portfolio, they target the older ones. I think they do it because I suspect they don’t know how it all works and they think you don’t notice because the posts are old.

      We have a few blogs on the network that fit that profile and were getting hit with 10-20 spam comments daily that the anti-spam wasn’t flagging (it isn’t perfect). When a post hasn’t had a legitimate comment in six month or a year, I think its a safe bet that its okay to close the comments

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