I’m sorry to report that this very site has been the target of a rather mean spirited attempt to shut us down and it may yet succeed, if only temporarily. As a result I’ve had to shut off access to our comments and prevent new comments from being posted, at least for the time being. I know that the comments section on our site has been an active part of our conversations lately and it’s really sad that I have to do this, but it must be done.
Here’s what happened. Someone went into several previous posts on our site and made a comment on each post. The comment contained a long list of pornographic terms and links to pornographic sites. It was a huge list, at least 4 scrolled pages long of just words. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but when you think about how search engines work you’ll understand the issue. Each search engine has small programs running constantly to look at every site they possibly can and index the words they find on sites for search responses. Once the search bots hit that list on our blog those pages started appearing as results when people search for sexual material.
A few days ago we started noticing that our traffic had increased significantly. As of last night we were getting 10 times the normal requests. As of this morning we are 3% of our monthly bandwidth usage away from being shut down as a result of the traffic. All this increase is coming from search engines including our site as results from the types of searches I mentioned earlier. It’s interesting to note that the biggest culprit by far comes from MSN Arabia.
So, I’ve deleted those comments with the phrases and temporarily disabled the comments feature on this blog. It sucks to have to do that, but I have little choice right now. Once we get things sorted out I’ll activate them again. Don’t worry, no previous comments will be lost, they’ll still be there when I activate the feature again. At this point I don’t think it was an automated attack since we require the entry of a visual code before one can post a comment. I don’t know why someone would do this deliberately or what anyone has to gain from it, but it certainly sucks.