Recent downtime on

· by joe · Read in about 3 min · (428 Words)

I started FolkTuneFinder as a student project back in 2008. I’d done websites for a few years before, but this was the first serious one with any kind of heavy lifting or interesting behaviour. Over the years I added features that allowed people to interact, such as the commenting and FolkTuneFinder blogs, which has been surprisingly popular.

I have always had a very small problem with spam: I received perhaps a small handful of blog posts a month, which was fine to deal with. It wasn’t a problem, and the most time-effective way of dealing with it was to delete the posts when they arose. There has always been a battle with spare time, and various interesting things have happened to me since 2008 meaning that I haven’t quite had as much time as I’d like.

In the last month, some spammer realised that I had quite a liberal approach to allowing people to have blogs, and took advantage. I’m impressed that they went to the effort of figuring out the form to create a user, submit a blog post, and then verify that it was posted. In the past month the amount of spam has gone from, say 10 a month to, at the last count well over 120,000. It crept up on me somewhat, as I wasn’t really expecting it.

Joke’s on them, I only allow links to blogs that I personally approve. Not that they care.

The site has been doing ok since 2008 serving the needs of the growing number of people who need to use it. Suddenly it has buckled under the pressure of an aggressive network of spam bots who have pumped an extra 120,000 blog posts and 120,000 users into the system. These people truly are ratbags of the worst kind.

Over the last couple of weeks the site has been down. I am really very sorry about this and would like to apologise. The site seems to be popular with quite a lot of people. I am gratified that you all like the site and really hate not having it available.

I am scraping some spare time together and hope to address the issue. In the mean time I am disabling the creation of accounts to new users, and the posting of blogs to existing users. Again, sorry. But it’s the simplest short-terms solution.

I hope to have some time over Christmas to re-do much of the site, and to prevent this happening again. Until then, I hope the site bears up. Please be patient if there are more problems.

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