Eleven days ago, my piece about serving millions of hits with limited resources hit the top of the popular Hacker News website. The visits to tumbledry went from 42 the day before the article to 29,000 the day after. Since then, comment spam has been continually left by what are most likely automatic little programs called bots.
Spam is an annoying problem. I had to keep deleting these trashy comments full of links to lord-knows-what (I didn’t click them to find out). Even more interesting (not at all unique, but interesting), there were some spambots posting excerpts from literature. I’d start reading the comments, knowing it was spam, but I’d keep reading wondering what was going to happen on that fine summer’s day or to that poor little boy. I guess good literature shines through even the jumbled mess of comment spam.
I want neither junky links nor unrelated prose (no matter how well-written) in this space. This morning, I finally decided to tackle the problem. I’ve since added a few lines of code to limit the privileges of those who have left few comments here. As I was in the process of writing, saving, and testing the code, more spam comments kept appearing. And appearing. And appearing.
I tried to tell myself that it was just a bot, and it was just a coincidence, that it wasn’t trying to mess with me as I committed the changes to the code that runs everything here. Still, it felt like I was engaged in some weird digital skirmish with some ghost in the machine. I hope the changes I’ve made keep things from getting junked up too much.