Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why We Should All Moderate Comments

I moderate my comments to my blogs, avidly. I was, therefore, flattered to get this first bit of praise, months ago
sheela has left a new comment on your post "Publishing Your Blog Externally":

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Kaylee

http://www.(spamurlremoved).info

This looked a bit light on detail - but it was positive in general, so I Accepted it as a comment.

A few hours later, another comment, worded the same, hit another post. And the following day, a third comment, with a third post targeted. By then, it was looking pretty obvious. I went back and deleted the other two published comments, and I figured that would be the end of it.

Not.

I recently went back through my Comments Inbox, and checked for "Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.". I had a total of 8 entries, the latter 6 quickly rejected.

Yesterday evening, I idly wondered if other people had gotten any of this too, or was I being targeted uniquely? Surely, I was so gullible in Accepting the first 2. So, I decided to "Just Google It", and find out for myself.

Results 1 - 10 of about 22,700,000 for Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


There you see 10 of the 22,700,000 successfully installed spam comments. Knowing these spammers, I'll bet that they used other phrases too, in other spam comments. How many spam comments, in total, were successfully installed in the Blogger blogosphere? Outside the Blogger blogosphere? Anybody? Bueller?



Nope. I guess I wasn't the only one targeted by this scam. I wonder how many folks Rejected theirs. LOL. Not everybody, obviously.

This is spam that Google won't regulate, or even assist in stopping. It's our responsibility to remove, and block, this. And get ready for what will follow.

Moderate comments, or else! Help yourself, and other blogs owners - help train the new comment filters. And, update your Blogger account to use a Google+ profile, so you can publish comments safely and discourage this spam.



2012/06/23:
344,000,000
Nope, not stopping.


If we analyse the various spam attacks upon our blogs, we can see patterns - and an understanding of the overall purpose of the spam.

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9 comments:

Susan said...

Your links within this post were interesting - I've never experienced splog - and I'll take your advice.
But, it kind of speaks highly of blogs and blogging that spammers can make money (I'm still unclear on how). And also it's kind of comical how spammers can play on our: a)excitement about comments, b.)delight in compliments and c.)desire to socialize with our blog. Makes me LOL at myself!

up-a-creek said...

Well, she DID visit your blog often, didn't she?

Anyway, so captchas can't stop spambots? Or are spammers employing lots of humans to make comments (which seems unlikely, given that their business model pretty much hinges on zero cost).

Chuck said...

LOL, CAPTCHAs - riiight. Sure, CAPTCHAs will stop the bad old comment spammers.

Want to read about splog farms? The Adult Friend Finder splog farm was a big one - not sure if it's still active, but I'll bet the AFF sploggers and the "Nice blog" spammers at least know each other professionally.

And the "person" leaving the spam isn't visiting my blogs. That's nothing but a spam bot.

Marf said...

At least most blogs apply the rel="nofollow" to any link in their comments.

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I get that one all the time. I think I figured it out right away because it's just so generic. Who leaves a comment and says they have nothing to say? So I did what you did -- Googled the exact words. Yep. Now I have moderation on for any posts older than 5 days. (I don't want to have to moderate posts when they are first published because I think it holds up the conversation.)

Aviatrix said...

I've seen a lot of variations on the "Nice blog" spam, and a step beyond. That is, a comment that leads in with a generic sentence, then copies verbatim the content of an existing comment on the same post. Not instantly evident on a post with a lot of comments, especially when many are of the form, "I agree, that guy should have gone to jail" or "congratulations, that's awesome."

Chuck said...

Ditto, Aviatrix. Since I published this article, I've noted an incredible quantity of variations hitting my Inbox. Most I discard, some I'm not so sure about. The assortment of blog names is intriguing too.

But finding evidence of 22,000,000+ (I wonder what it is now) successfully planted copies of "Nice blog" was intriguing too.

Lynda said...

On my wordpress blog, there is a setting that says if a poster has had one comment accepted through moderation, that commenter is then allowed to comment without moderation.

I used to think that was a good thing. Then those generic comments (which made NO sense, given my content) showed up. KILL! I don't have so many readers that this is a big problem, but some bloggers must have to do a lot of extra work to delete these creepbots.

Chuck said...

Lynda,

That's a very spam friendly feature, isn't it? And so easily exploited by the spammers.

If I was going to use that feature with Blogger (were it available), I'd sure moderate after publishing, religiously.