Spam, spam, spam, spam…

I read this post yesterday on It’s all good. They’re getting voip comment spam. I’m getting refinance/mortgage spam. Loads of it. All of a sudden.

Until yesterday, I think I’d gotten about two dozen spam comments over the six months this blog has been in operation–mostly relating to a popular form of poker, with a few that were actually related to posts well enough to be “semi-spam,” that is, marketing posts.

Yesterday, I got roughly 100 even–all but one from the same email address, with the usual mix of single-letter “messages,” “I disagree with your opinion,” and other stuff. The good news is that WordPress put all of it into moderation, and I was able to mark it all as spam (thus deleting it but also improving WordPress’ spam filters) in two strokes–one for the 30 that arrived yesterday afternoon, another for the 70 that were there this morning.

There was one post that almost passed muster, and maybe it wasn’t spam, but the link in it didn’t relate directly to the topic (and was a marketing blog!), so…

The bad news: One auto-generated mail message for each spam comment, flooding my mailbox and all having to be deleted. And, of course, if there had been any legitimate comments, getting rid of the spam would have been more complicated.

For now, I’ll let it ride: I treasure the conversations on this space. Next step would be to require moderation for all comments (and boy do I sympathize with bloggers who do that), particularly if spam comments start making it directly into the blog (happened once, and I deleted it) but that doesn’t help the overhead problem. Third step would be to see if Blake (or someone) knows of a WordPress plugin to require the word-response activation that It’s all good has gone to. I’m not fond of those devices (particularly since the distorted letters are sometimes almost impossible to get right), but…

Worst case scenario would be to shut off comments. I hope it doesn’t come to that. I wonder whether the sociopaths who run these spamment operations realize how much they’re harming the potential for net media to be worthwhile? I wonder whether they give a damn about anything except possibly improving their search engine rankings…and I think I know the answer. Sociopaths rarely care much about anyone but #1.

Oddly, I never intentionally prevented trackbacks from showing up in this blog–but, as it turns out, I’m just as happy that they don’t, since trackback spam seems particularly vile.

4 Responses to “Spam, spam, spam, spam…”

  1. Steve Oberg Says:

    Walt,

    I have been experiencing much the same thing with focus on all kinds of online gambling, refinancing, and sundry pills. I am heartily sick of this and in fact turned off email alerting. I will not go the route of requiring a login and will instead rely on periodic checking of the “Awaiting Moderation” webpage in WordPress. If that means I miss a timely comment here and there, oh well.

    Steve
    (who’s still not sure whether or not he should/could/will blog on work time while working in his new corporate environment)

  2. Robin Hastings Says:

    I used a CAPTCHA plug-in for a while with my WordPress installation. A good source for those is: http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugins/Spam_Tools (look for the CAPTCHA heading, half-way down the page). I think I used Gudlyf’s AuthImage Plugin and it worked pretty well. I lost it when I upgraded, though, and haven’t gotten around to re-installing!

  3. Ruth Ellen Says:

    Walt, do you check your comments rss feed through bloglines, by any chance? Since you changed the way you deal with spam, I’m getting some of the spam comments on the feed. They are pretty obviously spam, and when I click on the comment header to get to the original post (so I can see what the commentor is referring to – um, to what the commentor is referring) the spamment is gone. More weirdness.

  4. walt Says:

    Ruth Ellen, No, I don’t subscribe to my comments feed (it never occurred to me). Three bits of spam did make it through; I deleted them as soon as I saw them.

    Otherwise…well, the Capcha plug-in didn’t even work, so I guess there will be some occasional strangeness.


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