Earlier today, on the last day of 2019, Ratburger.org blocked the 500,000th attempt to pollute the site with spam comments or to register new user accounts in order to make spam postings. As of this post, the total spam blocked has already climbed to 500,254.
The site opened to the public on December 10th, 2017, and thus has been in operation for 752 days. There have, then, been an average of 665 attempts to spam the site per day over that period. The vast majority of these have been caught by a plug-in we run, Stop Spammers, which checks the IP address and E-mail address of users attempting to register an account against a number of blacklists of known spammers, and also enforces correct use of the HTTP protocol which some high-volume spam robots violate in order to hit more targets per second. In addition, thousands of other suspicious attempts to access the site have been flagged and rejected manually—these do not appear in the totals above.
Unlike many WordPress sites, we do not permit guest comments: a user must have an account on the site and be logged in to comment. Consequently, we see only spammers sufficiently sophisticated to target WordPress sites by attempting to create an account before posting or commenting. I can barely imagine the volume of unthinkable sludge which washes up on the shores of sites with open comments.
It’s a slum out there.