Spam and e-mail addresses posted on

One of the big issues that modern websites need to contend with are the so-called "spam-bots" that roam the web spreading spam and scanning pages to "harvest" e-mail addresses for use on spam mailing lists. employs some sophisticated anti-spam tools to block these bots from posting to our site and cluttering it up with spam.  It also employs a very clever technique to prevent them from "harvesting" any e-mail addresses that are posted on the site (and the site NEVER reveals the e-mail address associated with your account).

The Problem

In general, exposing your e-mail addresses on a webpage may lead to that e-mail being harvested and put on a spam mailing lists.  Thus, some people recommend that you never display your e-mail address on a webpage... which, of course, makes it hard for actual people to contact you about something your have posted there!

The Solution

To combat this problem, uses an e-mail "obfuscation" technique to hide e-mail addresses from the spam-bots.  It's rather ingenious how it works - in fact, when you post, you don't really need to be aware at all, the software does it all behind the scenes.
Here's how it works:

  1. You post a plain-text e-mail address, like this:  webmaster [at] lasqueti [dot] ca
  2. When you save your post, scans the text, detects the e-mail address and "obfuscates" it by turning it into something that looks like this:  webmaster (@) lasqueti (dot) ca  - in fact, it even converts the @ and dot into images, and inserts a bunch of invisible gobbldy-goop markup to confuse the spammers so they really can't recognize it in any way as an e-mail address.
  3. When the post is delivered for viewing, a small program is delivered with it.  That program runs in the user's browser and unscrambles the obfuscated e-mail address and turns it into a clickable e-mail link (notice the plain-text e-mail I posted in step 1 is now a clickable, mail-to link).
  4. Since the spam bots don't execute scripts - they just scan text - they only get the scrambled version, and thus the e-mail address is completely hidden from them.

Key Points

  • When posting on, you can feel confident to simply post plain-text e-mails - they will be hidden from spammers.
  • Our "obfuscation" program makes a mess if you post an e-mail link - it only works when e-mails are posted in plain-text - so just type in the e-mail address as plain text and let the software do all the work.
  • If you do copy in some text that contains an e-mail link, simply select the link text (the blue e-mail address) and choose "unlink" (the little globe with an X-ed out chain link) button in the editor to turn it back into plain text.