Spam

| Monday, February 15, 2010
Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam.

I typed that. No copy-paste. It's legit.

In an effort to make this more of a two-way dialog, to not exclude people with something to say, I make this blog a bit more vulnerable to spammers. I allowed anonymous commenting and I removed word verification.

Since then I've had some spam. I don't like it.

It confuses me.

It tends to be on old posts. Not the day before, the week before, or even the month before. I find spam comments, NEW spam comments, on posts from November. Now I'm not expert, but I don't see how that is productive for them. Perhaps there is no cost to it, but I'd expect they'd target it at new posts, ones that people might actually see.

It often doesn't sell anything. It has random words or sentences which don't say much. No links, no product names, just generic words like "I found this useful for my trip to college thank you for very interesting!" I'm assuming this is spam and that I don't just have a few very stupid posters responding to very old posts which have absolutely nothing to do with what they say.

Sometimes they have links, but they are broken. The tags they use don't work, so they just look like giant messes. Would it take that much effort to check how the target handles tags and adapt the spambot? Bah, who am I kidding? These are the equivalent of the misspelled guild ads which brag about bank slots and use no punctuation other than exclamation points.

Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong. Useless spam in outdated posts aimed at a blog with no practical use which frequently talks about old content. Maybe the spammers have it figured out perfectly. Except they don't seem to realize that there's no profit to be had here.

What to do?
I don't plan to remove anonymous commenting. Since I'm not getting trolls, I see no reason that people should have to identify themselves, making some sort of account, just to respond.

I am considering putting back on word verification. But I must do a cost-benefit analysis. The spam is annoying, but is it annoying enough to warrant the annoyance of word verification? So I put to you: how annoying is word verification on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being no annoyance and 10 being you won't post with it and 11 being due to technical issues you can't post with it.

9 comments:

LarĂ­sa said...

I suffer from exactly the same thing. I try to clean up as good as I can, but I know I miss some of it.Sigh. There is one thing you can do however: if you have an old post that is especially much spammed, you can change the settings for that specific post. Set it to "show comments but don't allow any new", once you've taken away the spam. You can do that within the post editor, if you click "post options" or something like that, at the bottom of the editor page, where you set date and put lables, you'll find it.

Once I've locked up an old post, the spam for that very post will cease.
It has helped me a bit, although they keep finding new old posts to spam.

It really drives me a bit nuts too. Tobold and Gevlon have given up on open commenting, requiring approvement before it's shown. I really can't blame them. If it's like this for me, how isn't it for the bloggers with a much bigger audience? Must be a nightmare, really.

Eversor said...

Word verification is only annoying if I hear the boss coming down the hall and I'm trying to get my response "submitted" before she gets to my door and sees what I'm doing! Truthfully it is zero annoyance for me.

Klepsacovic said...

@Larisa: I've done that for a few posts now. It worked, for those posts. I refuse to give up open commenting. It adds a significant delay which stifles conversation and the last thing I want is to discourage commenting. It's almost insulting in a way, arrogant, as if saying "Whatever you have to say is not worth saying unless I say so." I trust Tobold isn't practicing censorship, but our favorite social doesn't take well to criticism. I don't wish to tempt myself with the ability to remove the annoyance of other points of view.

@Eversor: I shall look for a template that makes this blog appear as a really boring Word document. Actually there's an idea: copy the post to a document so you can read it peace and do the same with comments. Or I suppose there is work, but that's so dreadfully boring.

Tam said...

Since I can't comment on blogger unless people have anon commenting turned on I have to say I have no objections to word verification. (i.e. I give it a 0). I would much rather my favourite bloggers both allowed me to comment and didn't get spam :P

Dwism said...

I've often run into blogs where I wanted to post a comment. I rant on for half a pages worth, and hit post, and it messes up. usually its word verification or it is Righteous orbs comment section which -at a point in time- was annoying. And I would jut give up.
For me personally to see the word verification is something that stops me from posting -unless I feel i have something I just have to get out on a subject... So maybe its a really good thing to have, now that I think about it :)

And I agree very much on the gnome and Tobold. The former does not allowed any other posts than praise, and the latter does tend to have some stale and weird comments where 5 people in a row say the same things.

Cantique said...

It is not a nuisance. I give it a 0

Klepsacovic said...

@Tam: How can you not comment? Do you refuse to join the Google? Resistance is futile. Your unique essence or some shit like that will be added to the collective.

@Dwism: The gnome is Gnomeageddon and he's good gnome. Please don't mix him up with the goblin.

As a good habit, if you write something long, do a select all-copy on it.

@Cantique: I shall add your nothingness to the tally.

gnomeaggedon said...

10.5

I hate it
I hate it
I hate it

But... it's your blog.. your life.. your time.

I will accept any decision you choose.

it's a 10.5 because on my iPhone (where 90% of my reading occurs) it's a nightmare.. on the PC.. whatever...

Not-The-Goblin ;-)

SlikRX said...

I am not a fan of the word verification, but its better than logging in. In general, I won't log in to comment. I'm lazy that way.

But, 'tis your own private place here in Blogovia, and you should do what makes *you* happy.

I have *tried* to make mine totally open (I can use all the comments I can get!) but I'm still not sure I have succeeded.

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