Disqus comment system (#E17)
I just pulled the plug on the onboard WordPress comment system in favour of a Disqus plugin. While I’m not entirely sure if that is a good idea and will stay that way, the regular comment system is utterly broken in today’s internet. There’s not too many visitors to the site in general and registering for a comment is a hassle, but leaving the comment system open to any bot out there simply doesn’t cut it. Even with the former regulations in place, the spam-to-comment ratio was around 150:1, and the spam detection isn’t 100% accurate as well.
So I gave it a try. Disqus apparently sneaks in advertising which I cannot confirm yet, even with the local Pi-Hole disabled. Their ad-free plan at USD 11 PER MONTH is way too greedy to be an option. It is also slow to load, but if it successfully avoids getting spammed, that’s an acceptable thing for now. Automatic syncing of old comments into the Disqus system does not work (maybe a 3rd party issue, haven’t tried the original plugin), manual import interestingly fails on three comments on a otherwise working thread (“Unable to find parent post”). “Updating” one of those does change absolutely nothing in the local system as diff’d from the export files, but a re-upload to Disqus triggers 85 new comment imports. Haven’t found duplicates so far, so meh, maybe something went wrong on their side. Everything recently posted is visible again, so I just assume everything made it.
I think this will also change the behaviour on reply notifications as they should be handled by Disqus instead of the local mailing system, but we’ll see. If you ever wanted to post nonsense here, this is your chance (and I’m not even mad if you do). Local users will stay for the moment, but I’m moving all users without a login to a separate group for later removal. If you sent a comment previously or at least made an effort to log in, your account is here to stay. Interestingly, out of the 5000 user accounts created, there are a tad over 200 with recorded login date, which means aside from legit users, quite a few bots or paid WordPress farmers made it past the mail confirmation stage and then visited the page again to log in properly. Sadly, there’s no special permissions for verified accounts, so nobody was able to push entire blog posts full of spam, or rapid-fire comments once verified. Boo-hoo
Oh, and 51 of these just failed the password reset mail delivery test – if your mailbox is disabled, full, or unknown, you’re gone now