My apologies to my regular readers and commenters, but I've had enough. Since the beginning of this year, I've banned 55 distinct IP addresses for comment or trackback spam: 28 since the beginning of June, and nine so far in July--six of them yesterday. I'm sick and tired of this blog being used to Googlewhore other sites, and often sites that are little more than money-making scams.
I have therefore just changed the settings on this blog such that all comments will now be held for moderation, as I did some time ago for trackbacks. Neither comments nor trackbacks will appear on the site until I have reviewed and approved them. I considered requiring TypeKey verification instead, but decided against it on the grounds both that it represents an imposition on people of goodwill who want to comment here and also that there was nothing to stop the spammers from signing up for TypeKey and continuing to abuse this site.
It is not my intention to use this moderation hold to censor comments with which I disagree: merely to filter out those that have as their only purpose scams, Googlewhoring, and dubious enterprises. Nevertheless, as the owner of this blog and the guy that pays the annual fees to keep it running, I do reserve the right to determine what constitutes acceptable content here, and I will, if necessary, ban individuals or refuse to publish their comments if they demonstrate a pattern of abuse or if they insist on mindlessly spouting the same tired old talking points rather than engaging in actual discourse.
I hope at some point in the not-too-distant future to be able to remove the moderation hold, once the spammers figure out that they can no longer have their way with my blog. Until then, I hope my readers will be patient.