Thursday, June 26, 2008

Comment spam

I’ve been pretty luck, really: In nearly two years of blogging I’ve had very little comment spam. That word verification system, annoying though it may be, keeps spambots (automatic comment spamming software) away, so it takes a little more time and effort to spam the comments of any post.

Up until now, the comment spam I’ve had here has been easy to spot: It’s usually a vague comment that may, or may not, have anything to do with the post—or any other post. The give away has been that they always include a link to the site(s) they want you to visit.

Wordpress filters (like over at amerinzpodcast.com) automatically tag comments with a lot of hyperlinks so I can review them before they’re posted. At the other extreme, at Podomatic I used to get a lot of gaming spam, plus a lot of Chinese spam that was promoting, well, I have no idea what it was promoting (the huge numbers of links told me it was spam). Blogger has been somewhere between the two extremes.

Last night, I got one with a new twist (for me, at least): Someone placed a vacuous comment totally unrelated to the post, but there were no links; instead, where one normally clicks to go to the user profile there was a link to a site selling stuff. Naturally, I deleted the comment. I’ve since seen the same comment on other blogs, too.

Fighting spam seems to be a fact of online life now, and blog comments are no exception. To be clear, I have a simple policy about comments: Virtually any comment is acceptable, including anonymous comments. However, a comment that tries to trick people into visiting some shady site—commercial or otherwise—will be deleted. Of course, all comments ultimately remain at my discretion, but it would take extreme language for me to censor ordinary content—and then I’d tell you about it.

Sadly, in this world filled with spam, I have to be vigilant when I’d rather just have a conversation. Must be the price to pay.

1 comment:

Dennis said...

I haven't had any comment spam, but someone once emailed me asking me to post a review of her product . Naturally, the product was for a male enhancement device. I believe it used magnets to increase blood to the male member. I really should do a post about that.