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Comment Spam

Managing a web site with a blog has shown me the craziness of comment spam. We’ve all seen email spam, and some of you may have seen comment spam on various other web sites. But what most people don’t see is the full enormity and ridiculousness of what doesn’t usually show up in comment sections. This web site is built with WordPress, and a common, (practically required), plugin for WP is Akismet. It is essentially the guardian of the comments section.

This blog is relatively minor — several hundred visitors a week. And I get 50-100 spam comments each day! I got 88 in the past 24 hours! Akismet catches them all. I go through my spam list every so often and look to see if some legitimate comment got caught in the spam filter. Occasionally I find one, but most often I give up looking through the hundreds of comments and just delete them all without checking every single one.

I understand the intention of comment spam. I understand how they’re automated and posted without any real connection to the web site. But actually seeing the spam, it boggles my mind. For instance, here is a common example of comment spam this site has received:

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I removed the 22 links in the above “comment.” This is just a post of a string of links. No sales pitch, no enticement, no trick, just a string of links. If this got past Akismet, (or whatever spam filter a site might be using), it would be an obvious string of links. Like this:

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What purpose could such a comment spam serve? Does the spammer, (the person who created the bot that runs the automated comment posting), actually expect to get visitors through such links? When such comments get past spam filters, do people actually click the links?

And then there are the spammers who seem to at least try to get past the filters. Comments like this:

Order your results by revcnalee rather than publication date (unless publication date is important to you for whatever reason). It’s so much easier to find the best articles at the top of the results page rather than having to scroll down and look for them.

There were no links in that text for me to remove. It’s just a couple of poorly written sentences with no contextual connection with the blog post it was posted to. There seems to be no purpose to that comment.

And then every once in a while, some random comment spam turns out hilarious. For instance, this:

Joann Trainer – What a great shot! You sure had quite a distance to run back and forth from. Glad to hear you had a great trip.

That comment was posted to Our Night in the ER. A post about our then 6 year old son vomiting up blood and us taking him to the Emergency Room over night, got a spam comment saying, “Glad to hear you had a great trip.” Funny.

Well, anyway. I just thought I’d give a glimpse behind the scenes of managing a web site. Spammers are weird.

Bullgrit

 

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One Response to Comment Spam

  1. grant niemeyer says:

    Yup that’s what happened then I had made a rather rambling comment can’t even remember the post you made. Clicked post comment and logged off for the night not even looking if it had popped up. check the blog couple of days later to see if you had a new post and noticed that “huh must not of must not have hit the post comment button right”. Oh well no biggie like I said rather rambled on that one and probly better it didn’t show.

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