Mollom, my content monitoring startup

After several months of private beta testing, Benjamin Schrauwen and I are happy to unveil Mollom, your partner in automated content monitoring. Mollom's purpose is to dramatically reduce the effort of keeping your websites clean and the quality of their user-generated content high. Currently, Mollom is a spam-killing, one-two punch combination of a state-of-the-art spam filter and CAPTCHA server. We are experimenting with automated content quality assessments, but these are still in an early testing phase.

If you're interested in learning more about how Mollom works, check out the 'How Mollom works' page and visit the Mollom FAQs for more details.

We currently provide modules for Drupal 5 and Drupal 6. For all you developers out there who'd like to build Mollom plug-ins, we will be releasing full API documentation very soon. We would be thrilled to put your home-brew plug-in for your favorite platform on our download page.

Mollom vs Akismet vs Defensio?

Mollom does offer some of the same features as Akismet or Defensio, but our goal goes further than spam-blocking alone. We want to increase the overall quality of your site's content. For example, Mollom's CAPTCHA service already helps block fake user accounts, and we are experimenting with various automated content-quality assessments, including blocking obscene, violent and profane content.

We have some great new features in the pipeline, so please check back with us regularly for more news or subscribe to Mollom's RSS feed.

Mollom and Acquia?

Mollom is a self-funded, garage-style project. I do take it very seriously, but it is nowhere near the size or scope of Acquia, which obviously remains my full-time commitment.

Mollom is a separate effort for three reasons: (i) I started it a while ago, (ii) I'm working on it with a friend who is not involved with Drupal or Acquia and (iii) unlike Acquia, Mollom is reaching out to as many content management systems and web applications as we can engage (and not just Drupal).

While Mollom is not associated corporately with Acquia, Acquia does intend to offer Mollom services as part of its subscription offerings. See Acquia's Caliper project.

Thank you to our testers

We would like to thank all of our private beta testers for their help and suggestions over the past months -- you've gotten us to this important milestone, guys. Thank you!

Comments

James Walker (not verified):

Congrats Dries! This one's been a long time coming... glad we can start making some noise about it :-)

March 31, 2008 - 16:18
zohar (not verified):

Where can one buy a share?

March 31, 2008 - 17:00
BryanSD (not verified):

I agree with Walker...I too am glad to see this project finally in Beta. I'm sure there will be some growing pains, but I can't see any reason why most Drupal sites wouldn't use Mollom. This one is a winner!

I've been on travel the past week and only with limited computer access. Yet, Mollom has kept me worry free from seeing spam getting posted via anonymous comments. Dries, thank you for all your hard work! You've made my life easier...

March 31, 2008 - 17:08
Dries:

The data center where the Mollom website is hosted (LCL Diegem) went down, including their backup generators. A *lot* of Belgian websites are currently down ... frankly, I've never seen this happen at the current scale. Oh, Murphy!

Because it is the entire data center, and not just our server, there is little we can do but wait. As a result, you can't check out the Mollom website or activate Mollom.

Sites that are already using Mollom should experience no problems though. The website is independent of the web service -- the web service has fail-over support, the website itself hasn't.

March 31, 2008 - 18:16
mk (not verified):

As the one who can test mollom before datacenter down. I'd like to give comment here (since I can't do at Mollom).

The only un-professional thing is the Mollom package itself. After download and extract, I see the folder "drupal-5" instead of "mollom" (not conform with Drupal standard naming).

Also with .svn directory hidden inside.

I know that it's trivial thing and Mollom is still in experimental state but fixing it requires trivial effort as well.

March 31, 2008 - 18:52
Dries:

I'll tidy that up shortly. In fact, we're moving the code of the Drupal module to cvs.drupal.org instead of maintaining it in our own subversion repository. That should take care of your suggestions. Thanks for the feedback.

March 31, 2008 - 19:08
Klaas Bals (not verified):

Congratulations with the release, to both Dries and Ben!

March 31, 2008 - 21:04
Boris Mann (not verified):

It's been great to work with the growth of Mollom. Looking forward to further large site and multi-site enhancements, as well as integrating into other systems like Open ID and so on.

March 31, 2008 - 21:29
Anonymous (not verified):

From the Mollom FAQ: "If a user posts a comment or other content to your site, your web server sends it to Mollom to be checked."

Where is the privacy notice (e.g. on tik.be) that a comment is sent to another site for spam-checking purposes? If people are not informed of this, this should be considered a privacy violation.

March 31, 2008 - 22:08
Luc Stroobant (not verified):

You want to make sure nobody reads the comment you just posted on the internet? Should we also include a notice to warn people the comments might be read (and cached!) by Google, RSS readers and worse, even normal users!?

April 1, 2008 - 08:58
Johnny van de Laar (not verified):

How about a page that can only be read by registered users?

April 1, 2008 - 10:02
Anonymous (not verified):

Hi Luc,

I just noticed the Mollom Web service privacy policy is mentioned alongside Tik.be's own privacy statement on its website. This is good, although i do not think many users will ever read it.

I'm just asking the question of wether you see any conflicting statements between the two policies. On first look, it seems there is. Tik's privacy statements explicitly forbids sending any piece of the registration data to third parties. Yet, on every comment a user posts, his e-mail address is sent to Mollom.

I don't want to start a flame war or anything (in any case this will be my last post on the subject), it is just that these days, user privacy should be the first concern of any website, which, assuringly, is reflected in the privacy policy of Mollom.

Since you mention Google, in my opinion they do not have a good reputation at all in my humble opinion with regard to user privacy. It's not because something has become accepted practice, it is right.

April 4, 2008 - 16:52
Itkovian (not verified):

Finally! I know this has been in the pipeline for a long time, and it feels good to not have to keep quiet about what kills spam on my personal website.

March 31, 2008 - 23:08
Matthias (not verified):

Great stuff! Keep up the good work! :)

March 31, 2008 - 23:32
JohnForsythe (not verified):

Maybe, just maybe, you will convince me to enable comments over on my blog ;)

April 1, 2008 - 02:37
Robert Douglass (not verified):

Mollom has been working well for me for months. Thanks for letting me be part of the pre-public beta. I'm looking forward to great things here.

April 1, 2008 - 07:39
Sudheer (not verified):

Congrats, Dries. I wish you very best of luck with your new endeavor.

Regards,
Sudheer

April 1, 2008 - 11:47
Jonathan Lambert (not verified):

We've been using Mollom for months on a couple of decent size startup company websites, and it's been rock solid. Can't say enough good things about the service - this should be highly successful.

I think I've been about 3 comment spams in that time across a number of sites, and they appear to be someone actually typing in spam (it was intelligible).

Mollom rocks. Congrats Dries.

J

April 2, 2008 - 20:28
gerard (not verified):

Been watching things closely since I installed Mollom yesterday, and it seems to be picking things up already. I've opened up a couple of my sites to anonymous input to see what happens.

One thing I would say is that I spent some time wondering if Mollom implemented a seperate content moderation area. Until I discovered that moderation is handled 100% by Mollom. That's going to take a bit of getting used to, but I appreciate your confidence in Mollom's abilities!

Can I suggest that you make it clearer that there is no moderation queue required in Mollom? It will save people a lot of time.

April 3, 2008 - 11:26
Brandon McStaffel (not verified):

Hopefully your solution is more eloquent than Akismet because that thing throws more false positives than a cheap pregnancy kit. I'll be checking out your solution and be back to let you know my thoughts.

Regards,
Brand

July 30, 2009 - 01:48

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