Bloody Vikings

Spam, spam, spam.

I’ve been deluged with it of late. The scumbags that masquerade as SOEs have been using my contact form to send me useless links to useless sites. I’ve been slowly tightening the restrictions on what could be sent via that form; first I banned BBCode, then I was forced to ban web site addresses altogether to try and reduce the deluge. Even that didn’t deter the scripters, and I’ve recently had dozens of emails that are variations of this depressingly idiotic theme:

Hi! Very Good Site! Keep Doing That!
Would you please also visit my homepage?
<a href=  ></a>

or

Hi there! Just couldn't resist your guestbook!
Please also visit my site:
<a href=  ></a>

Seriously, what is the point in sending these sort of messages? What possible value do they have, even to the morons that send them? Apart from their obvious uselessness (there is, after all, no actual link in them), they only come to me. They don’t get forwarded anywhere; the only function they serve is to jam up my inbox, and piss me off.

So, as of today, I have introduced a major change in the way my contact form works. It now uses email authentication, meaning that anyone using it must supply a valid email address, and then click a link that is sent to that address to deliver their message. I realise this is an added inconvenience to legitimate visitors, and I’ve resisted implementing it for as long as possible. But I have to do something to rebalance the signal-to-noise ratio.

It does mean that I’ve been able to relax the restrictions on message content a little (URLs are back in, BBCode is still out), as hopefully anyone who takes the time to verify their email actually has something useful to send me.

Fingers crossed that I’ve managed to slow the spam down a bit, even if it’s just for a while, and my apologies to the genuine visitors who have to go through an extra couple of steps because of the actions of unethical morons who, to quote Google

have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to unfairly manipulate search engine results.

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