January 16, 2005

Blog and Comment Spamming

After a good three-month break, we've recently been hit with a few comment spams. You know the kind: barely literate comments or short blurbs, repetitive over a period of days, with a link to a page apparently touting dubious "stuff" (I dunno; who could be bothered to look?).

I'm guessing this spam is from spammer bots; their users are clever enough to spider your entire blog, no doubt so as to get older pages to spam in the hope that the blog owner won't notice. But apparently not clever enough to note that:

  1. When any comment is posted, WordPress can notify the blog owner with an email containing a link to the specific page;
  2. WordPress also has a comment moderation feature, meaning that you can review all comments before allowing them to display.

Blog spammers, of course, are trying to take advantage of that part of many major search engines' algorithms (ranking formulae) that gives a ranking boost to websites for the links to those websites. Given that we are here early, late and often — and that WordPress has all these nifty comment notification and moderation features — the effort put into getting such uninvited (and unwelcome) links is paid off with a link that can last less than a minute. Pretty sad excuse for marketing, I'd say.

Or, as the Oracle in The Matrix said, "Not too bright".

Anyway. This is my way of saying we've turned on comment moderation; sorry for the delay but, like the neighborhood bully who foists himself on his neighbors — all for his own gain and without a thought in the world about how he or she is despoiling the work and creations of others — it's one small measure to prevent abuse of our system and the work we've put into it. For now.

4 Comments to "Blog and Comment Spamming"

  1. teli says:

    I feel your pain Diane,
    Just recently on one of my blogs which hadn't received ANY comment spam whatsoever in its 6 months of being online, I suddenly started receiving Satellite tv spam, drug spam, short blurbs that could possibly seem like real comments however off topic and shady the URL was…you name it.

    I have a number of WordPress plugins which are wonderful. If spamming of older posts is a concern of yours, I'd definitely look into the Optional Comment Moderation plugin which allows you to set the amount of time to wait before automagically turning on comment moderation. I use it for one of my blogs and it works splendidly. I receive an email however the comment doesn't show 'til I approve it. Newer posts (less than 7 days old) doesn't have comment moderation, but I have the spamwords plugin and kitten to take care of those spammers.

    I'm also going to try out a new plugin which allows users to approve their own comments by clicking on a link sent to them via email.

    Sorry so long on the comment – this is a highly touchy subject for me too ;)

  2. DianeV says:

    It's not a problem, teli. Long comments are good. :-)

    Thanks for the info about the plugins; I'm going to look them up, too. Along with a plugin(?) that displays how your post will look while you type it.

    Good to see you here; I do love your blog!

  3. teli says:

    I actually downloaded that plugin – the one which allows you to preview the post as you type – however, I haven't installed it yet.

    I just thought about it after reading your reply – I didn't post any URLs, so, here I go:
    Optional Comment Moderation
    Kitten's new plugin download page I recommend spamwords and spaminator
    IP Blocklist – love this plugin, copy/paste save as .php file and upload to the plugins section and activate
    Comment Moderation Plugin – allows users to approve their own comments

    and the one you were asking about Live Preview Plugin

    I know this is going to get caught in the moderation queue b/c of all the links, but I assure you, this is not spam :)

  4. DianeV says:

    Thanks, teli. And of course your comments are not spam.

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