The bulk of the discussion on this site will focus on spam coming in via e-mail. But with all of the new (and old) ways to communicate on the web, there are many avenues for spam to get to the end user.
Just to name a few there is spam on:
- discussion forums
- cell phone text messages
- faxes (a mixture of spam and telemarketing on that one)
That isn’t an exhaustive list, but covers a wide range.
I think it is appropriate that since this discussion is taking place on a MovableType engine, I should mention that there are ways to stop spam in blogs.
This blog itself is using the MT-Blacklist plug-in. This allows you to easily install and update a blacklist (some people who feel that term is offensive prefer to call it a “blocklist” – I personally find that debate a waste of time) that consists of things that comment posts shouldn’t contain.
If something gets submitted that is “spam” the plug-in will block it, log that it has blocked it, and then show a message to the person submitting (in the case of spam, it is usually not a person and instead a “bot”).
This has become a very useful tool in the blog world, and I use it on all of my Movable Type blogs.
LiveJournal is another blog system that is handled in a different way than Movable Type, but they aren’t immune to the spam problem either. They have just recently updated their server software so that they can help block the spamming that goes on there.
While I have been on the receiving end of the spam, I have yet to see how the new changes make a difference in blocking spam there – that is not to say that I don’t think it will work or is working – I am just saying that I haven’t had any more spam on my blog (that could very well be a sign that it is working nicely).
There is very likely other blog software out there (Blogger/Blogspot immediately comes to mind), but I am admittedly unfamiliar with it, so I don’t know how they block spam, or even if they can.
In the near future I will have a page that lists out the various software programs that are available to block spam for various communication types.