The endless onslaught of comment spam continues unabated and the tireless efforts of Akismet continues to keep the hordes of scum at bay with a 99+% success rate. I did find one false positive when I was checking through the hundreds of spam that had been quarantined so that does raise the possibility that I've been deleting genuine comments when I've wiped out previous piles of spam that numbered in the thousands.
This is particularly possible since I picked up a bunch of new visitors and commenters with yesterday's "1984" post (hello to all the new folks). Oh, and thanks to Massif for submitting that post to Reddit - that gave me quite a surprise when I woke up this morning. Apparently not even hitting the front page can score you about 3,000 hits.
I decided to scour Akismet's spam net to see if it had caught any innocent comments but it takes for-bloody-ever to look through the hundreds that get caught in a single day. The problem isn't limited to the sheer volume of spam, it's also the length of the individual spam comments. Some spam are only a few lines long but more than half of them are fucking massive! Screen after screen of blue links to viagra, insurance and porn.
My solution was to run through the list at a fast scroll and only slow down if something seemed to break the visual pattern (i.e. it had a chance of being a legitimate comment.) Even scrolling so fast the words were a blur it seems to take a minute or two to get through each screen (Akismet groups 50 spam to a page.)
Besides being a boring waste of time, this exercise has another unpleasant side effect. I decided to switch to another window while I waited for the next page of spam to load (I was working from a relatively slow connection) but suddenly going from a fast moving screen to a static screen totally fucked with my visual perception.
I was suffering from what I can only describe as spam vertigo. The static text on the screen seemed to be swaying and wobbling. It was a very disconcerting and made me feel mildly sick. So now I have one more reason to hate spammers.