Okay, I didn’t want to go this route if it could be avoided but at least for the time being, anyone who wants to leave a comment will need to register and login.
The reason is simple: the spammers are getting more clever. Some days I get zero spam comments, some days I get more than a hundred. Up till now, it’s been easy to figure out what’s spam because those comments generally fall into one or more of several categories: links to crap that are probably masking viruses, Russian (and other non-western) alphabet, things that have nothing to do with the post that the comment appears under, blatant advertising.
But now I’m getting multiple comments that look reasonable. They have a reasonable looking email address, reasonable looking web site URL and are relevant responses to posts. But many of them are cut-and-paste jobs from previously approved comments.But click on those URLs and they lead to weird pages, like a blog but with no content. I don’t know if these sites have viruses or not (I think I’m safe because I’m running Chrome and anti-virus software) but I can’t figure out any other purpose for them.
The end result though is that I can’t tell a valid comment from a spam one unless it’s coming from a source I recognize. So I’m going to do this for now and see what happens.
If you feel strongly against this and don’t want to register to leave a comment here, I hope you’ll take the time to send me an email at hongkietown at gmail dot com and tell me why.