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Parish notice: We’ve sent the spammers home
Rich Harris (Citywire)
Posted: 15 April 2011 14:44:24(UTC)

Joined: 08/06/2010(UTC)
Posts: 126

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Lots of you will be aware that we had a sustained attack from Chinese spammers peddling fake handbags and designer shoes a short while ago. We’re not quite sure if they were human or some kind of automated spambot, but either way it was rather annoying, both for us and for you.

As a result we turned off Watchlist alerts – the emails you get notifying you that someone has commented on an article that you’ve also commented on – while our IT team developed systems to deal with the problem.

We’ve now installed various defensive measures, which means we’ve been able to turn Watchlist alerts back on. One result of the change is that comments from new users will be invisible until we’ve verified they’re not selling Viagra – we apologise for the inconvenience, but it’s better than the alternative.

It goes without saying that anyone who does try and spam our readers will face a commenting ban.


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Posted: 16 April 2011 12:03:24(UTC)

Joined: 10/06/2010(UTC)
Posts: 21

I'm pleased you've managed to fix the problem. The comments feature of this site has been first class and I would hate to see it abused.
I have had spam problems of my own which I thought originated from Citywire. The first page delivered by email would not load properly and it was impossible to scroll. The page kept being redirected in an endless loop. However in an attempt to find the root cause I upgraded my IE browser. After I did that Microsoft informed me that there was a conflict between their software and my antivirus. i.e. Internet explorer defined the email as spam and tried to send it to junk mail folder. Antivirus was saying no it's not spam leave it where it is. Oh yes it is.........Oh no it's not, and so on. In order to prove that this was the cause I disabled the antivirus spam feature. Problem solved. I now know that I can use either. But if both are enabled the settings for each must be identical.
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