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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Using A Killfile, To Filter Blogger Comments

We periodically see hopeful - yet naive - requests from blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, asking about comment moderation improvement.

How do I add a disruptive commenter to a killfile list - and never see his/her nonsense ever again, without moderating every comment, being published?

This would be a popular feature - if it could be provided, in any way that would achieve results.

Using a killfile, to filter disruptive / malicios commenters, is not a likely possibility.

Anybody who does not want to be identified can comment as desired.

It is not possible to reliabily identify a comment publisher, who does not wish to be identified.

  • Blogger / Google identity.
  • IP address.

Disruptive individuals can't be identified, with any chance of success. Anybody who wants to publish comments can do so, using multiple accounts, and / or IP addresses.

Both Blogger / Google accounts and IP addresses can be easily cloaked.

Using either multiple Blogger / Google accounts - or IP addresses - is a trivial exercise for anybody who is determined enough to persistently publish unwanted comments.

Given the impossibility of identifying people who don't provide effective identification, Blogger is unlikely to provide a feature that would accomplish nothing - and possibly interfere with legitimate commenting.

The only solution for blocking unacceptable comments will always involve collaborative, fuzzy filters, trained by each blog owner.



Some #Blogger blog owners would like to use a killfile, to filter unacceptable comments. They don't understand that anybody who wants to persistently publish disruptive or malicious comments can easily mask their identity - and make killfile use an exercis in futility.



Dude, hit me with a comment!

Just a little snarky said...

I have to partially disagree. A killfile is not 100% effective, like you mentioned. But it can be partially effective. Using a killfile to block usernames will eventually lock out people who are tired of making new usernames in order to post garbage. But a killfile based on the spammers email address can help too. Once that email is blocked, no matter how many userids they make with that email, those userids will always be blocked (theoretically).

Using a killfile on IP addresses will also block public computers, like at the library and uni, which blocks innocent users at the same time. A person can get around a blocked IP by using a VPN, which picks an IP from a pool of IP addresses. This also has the effect of blocking innocent people who also use the VPN with the same pool of IP addresses, and they happen to get the same IP one day as the one that was blocked last week.

Carlos Martins said...

In any case, having more control would indeed be helpful. Something like some rules for comments with certain keywords to be sent for moderation queue or spam instead of being published immediately.

Chuck Croll said...

Hi Snarky (C****),

Thanks for your comment.

A spammer makes multiple email accounts, just as he (she) makes multiple Blogger / Google accounts. Since neither Blogger, email, or Google accounts have any value (equivalent to value in social networking, like FaceBook, Google+, or Twitter), multiple accounts are easy to setup and to use.

You'll be like the little Dutch boy, sticking his finger in the hole in the dike. You'll always be running out of fingers.

A Person gets around a blocked IP address by using a proxy server (of which there are thousands) - or a VPN. Or with some ISPs, by restarting the router.

The thing is, Blogger is not interested in a solution that is "partially effective", that is so prone to false positives.