trackback spam

A few days ago I mentioned to Jason that at long last, comment spam is a thing of the past (hey, that rhymes). The same is true on his blog thanks to WP Hashcash. It’s such a relief to be notified of new comments without the dread of having to clean up hundreds of spam comments.

But the end of the battle is by no means the end of the war. The comment spammers have moved on to trackback spam. Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of WordPress, got hit by them today. The good news is he’s already discussing ways to resolve the problem, namely being able to disable trackbacks without disabling pingbacks.

In the interim, here’s a simple way to turn off trackbacks on all posts if you’re using WordPress. I don’t receive many of them anyway, so it’s a minimal loss with a significant gain.

This SQL query will turn off the ability to ping all posts. (Note: You’ll have to change the table name (wp_posts) if you changed your table prefix)

UPDATE wp_posts SET ping_status = ‘closed’;


 (Post a comment) | Comments RSS feed
  1. I’ve been getting slammed hard with them on CyDy Blog, which is running MT 3.11 on the old-school Berkeley DB. I’m not getting them on (MT 3.14 on MySQL with MTB) so hopefully installing MTB on CyDy Blog will be helpful.

    Comment by Meredith on January 5, 2005 @ 2:33 pm
  2. Done, and Done. Ya know, I’ve been thinking about what we were talking the other day about combating this crap for a year now. It’s actually easy to manage our blogs now. It was becoming quite tedious and depressing.

    Comment by jason on January 5, 2005 @ 3:50 pm
  3. Hi. I’ve written up a simple Perl script for Movable Type to address trackback spam (and comment spam). The idea is very simple: run via cron, the script renames MT’s mt-tb.cgi to the format mt-tb.r[rand#].cgi, e.g. mt-tb.r123.cgi. Same can be done for comments.

    Currently, this works only for MT, as I that’s all I’ve ever used and know. I think it would be trivial to modify the script for you WP folks, though. If you’re interested, take a peek:

    Comment by tom sherman on February 7, 2005 @ 8:10 pm

Comments are closed