Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Report Spammers

These forums are for getting, and providing, help in using Blogger one button publishing. They are not forums for advertising whatever commercial products or services you supply. Spam is simply not permitted here.

Spam is like dog shite. The longer it stays:

  • The more it stinks.
  • The more dog shite you end up with.
  • The harder it is to remove completely.

You have to remove the spam immediately. The quicker it's removed, the less return the spammer gets, and the quicker he moves on and leaves his shite somewhere else. The less everybody complains (the stink), the less other spammers feel encouraged (the quantity), the easier it is to remove (the cleanup details).

If you see it, get rid of it. Only Blogger Support can remove it, and they will only do so when they get enough reports about it, and it rises to the top of their queue. So everybody reading the forums, and this article, has to do their part, and report the spam.

We laugh at, and curse, Blogger and Google, almost daily for their shortcomings. They made many mistakes in their design of their various products.

They made no mistakes in the design of the abuse (spam) reporting process. It takes less than a minute, to produce satisfying results, in spam reporting and neutralising. Processing spam, in the Google Blogger Help private forums - is very simple.

  1. Report the spam.

    • Find the spam post. If there are multiple posts in the thread, and the thread has a title "REPORT THIS SPAM" or similar, look at the first post in the thread.
    • Find the header for the spam post - where you see the spammers name, and the post date and time.
    • To the right of the date and time, you'll see a link "show options".
    • Following the "show options" link, you'll see (among others) "Report Abuse".
    • Selecting "Report Abuse" takes you to the Abuse Report, all filled out.
    • If you feel the need to comment, you can do so in the box for more information.
    • Hit the Report Abuse button.
    • Done - wasn't that easy?

  2. Neutralise the spam, if and only if you're the first person to react to this latest turd. If the Topic in the index is already "REPORT THIS SPAM" or similar, someone else beat you to it. Continue with step 3, and look for more spam by the spammer (very important). And remember, you can neutralise the next spam, if you're quick enough.

    • Find the link "Reply with quote" following the spam.
    • Having followed the "Reply with quote" link, erase all content of the spam.
    • Change the content of the Subject: field to a new Subject of your liking, maybe
      EVERYBODY, PLEASE REPORT THIS SPAMMER
      .
    • Put a message of your choosing in the Message: box. Please Do Not leave any trace of spam content in the message. When you remove dog shite from the sidewalk, you remove all of it - not just half of it. Maybe add a link to this article, or one similar, to advise others how to react to spam in the future.
    • Hit the Post Message button.

  3. Look for more spam by the spammer.
    • When you're looking at any turd by the spammer, look at the header. Beside the spammer's name, click on the link "View profile".
    • On the next screen, you'll likely not see a profile, but you will see a list of Recent Posts made by that person.
    • This will list the posts, by original subject / title, with the most recent posts at the top of the list.
    • Note the many forums listed, and the varying results that you'll have when reporting the spammers activities.
      1. The Google Blogger Help forums. These are the forums which we try to keep clean.
      2. The Google Spam forums. These are the forums which contain nothing but spam. These forums cannot be cleaned up.
      3. The various Google images of Usenet forums. These forums are not owned by Google, and cannot be cleaned up.
    • This asshole is posting multiple posts in groups 2 and 3, so we cannot easily use the Recent Posts list to find his posts, and report and neutralise them. We have to work a bit harder, but the results are worth it.
    • In addition to the posts listed on the "Recent Posts" list, follow the link at the lower right "Show all", and examine the "Searched all groups", by date (click on "Sorted by date" if necessary). Look for all posts made to any of the Google Blogger Help forums, on that same day.
    • Check each post made to any of the Google Blogger Help forums (follow each link, and examine the thread), to see if it has been neutralised (see step 2 above).
    • Report each post by the spammer (see step 1 above), as you check each thread.
    • If you find one post by the spammer, that's not been neutralised, please neutralise it.

  4. Update the thread. When Google Support removes the original spam post, the first post in the thread will be the "REPORT THIS SPAM" post. When you see that's the case, reply one last time, and change the title to "THE SPAM IS GONE" or similar. This closes the thread, and encourages each of us to react to spam promptly. And it shows Google Support that we appreciate their actions (and, in this case, we do indeed).


The above procedure will make spamming, in the Google private forums, totally worthless. Eventually the assholes will get the message.
Die, spammers!


Persistent Spammers
Check out the Recent Posts list for each asshole, now in a separate blog, with "noindex, nofollow" set. And experience some small but real sense of accomplishment.

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6 comments:

Gia said...

Thank you so much for taking the time do inform people of what's going on.

I've had a blog on Blogger for 4 years. I recently moved to Wordpress on my own server, but as quite a lot of people read my blog, I left the Blogger one up (NEVER delete your blog!). I signed in regularly and tinkered around so that Blogger wouldn't see my blog as inactive.

Today in my Techorati referrals I saw something strange. I clicked... and yes, someone has *somehow* taken over my blog. They took down my last "come to my new blog" post.

I complained immediately to Blogger (actually I've complained about 6 times now).

The blog still had images I was hosting on my own server, so I changed them to read 'This Blog Has Been Hijacked' and included my new blog's url.

I then removed the style sheets I was hosting so it looked a mess.

They changed the template to a Blogger one and got rid of the images in the sidebar that I had changed.

There's still one image I'm hosting on the main page. I've replaced it with one which is 1000x3000 pixels saying that the blog has been taken over by a @£&$- except less polite.

I won't stop battling the spammer nor will I stop complaining to Blogger.

Luckily I have a backup of the blog...

Anyway, thanks again for all your hard work without you we'd have no one, as Blogger doesn't seem to care.

Chuck said...

Gia,

If you're still reading here, PLEASE sign my guestbook and include a valid email address (which only I will be able to see).
GuestBook

Or post in Google Blogger Help - Troubleshooting
Blogger Help

I really would like to talk to you about this!!

The Cranky Insomniac said...

Here's a question/comment: Does Blogger have a way to ban commenters by IP address?

If not, they should implement this.

If so, we, the unpaid staff, should take it upon ourselves to compile a database of spam commenting IP addresses. I've just started getting the same one over and over again despite having word verification on. I hate to have to start moderating comments because of one guy in Bombay, but if I can't ban by IP address I guess I'll have to.

By the way, you're a saint for running this site. They should put you on the payroll.

Ron Southern said...

If Chuck got on the payroll, he'd just be another Company Man. It's hard to win, you know?

Under The Hood said...

(newbie) reading your blog I came across the "spammers", "sploggers" et al. Good old Al!

Yesterday I received my first burst of what I think is "comment spam".
I found the "Settings, Comments, Word verfication" and turned it ON to thwart automated comments.

I'd love to see your comments on why this option doesn't default to "on", since Blog Comments are meant to be entered by humans anyway.

If someone wants to make a comment (as I do), the blog must be wothwhile (as yours is!), and that extra step is a very small price the commenter must pay compared to the resources expended by the blogger.

www period chrisgreaves period com

Jon Allen said...

If I get a spam comment on my blog from a blogger profile ( ie not an anonymous comment) where should I report this profile?

and on a second point why does word
verification have to use such long words?
surely 3 or 4 characters would be enough?