A New Type of Spam

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Reduced_Spam   Spammers are so often difficult to figure out.  Recently I have had a pate of comments that appear to be written by an actual human, although often with terrible English.  These comments are linked to profile pages on sites like Xanga, or Multiply.  The profiles have basically no information other that a sentence that includes a link to “cheap ugg boots”.  Seems like a lot of work to go to commenting just to get a link to a worthless profile page.  I wonder what the motivation is?  Perhaps these comments are automated and not done by a person.  The comment usually does relate directly to the post, though and as such gets past my spam filters.  I just manually remove or delink the comments.

One of these commenters is a real person as I actually got an email form them asking why I was removing their comments. This person was leaving multiple, not very good, comments.  They all had different links, most to profile pages like the ones above.  Their email not only wanted to know why their comments were not being allowed, but claimed that they were a big fan and had hurt feelings when their comments were edited or removed.  Weird!

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Will Sig
1 John Hunter

I agree it seems like way too much work, I have seen similar things. One thing about the way the akismet spam filter works is to determine if an IP address or email address sends spam then the likelihood is to classify a new item from there as spam. Maybe they saw that this method reduced their overall “profile?” So many it is not just to get this link but to teach akismet that they are a good source (by getting comments accepted) and then their other comments can get through. Still seems like too much work, just guessing what might be behind it.
.-= John Hunter´s last blog ..Getting Kids to Rediscover the Great Outdoors =-.

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2 Mozi Esme's Mommy

I think I prefer the canned stuff… 🙂 I haven’t had too much of a problem – except for one commenter who uses Asian characters every so often with bad links…

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3 Wilson Pon

Gosh, the spammers did have a very “hilarious” reasons here, Will. Well, you’ve done a very good thing to keep the site out from the nasty spammers, just keep the good work up!

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4 Anna

Okay Will, and that is funny: ‘….but claimed that they were a big fan and had hurt feelings when their comments were edited or removed’.

Lol I get similar on my dummy website, lol, telling me how great my site is and they will be back – the funny thing, there is nothing on that web site anyway, lol.

Thanks for good stuff!

Anna 🙂
.-= Anna´s last blog ..A Bit of Knowledge: What a Habit, a Forest and the ISO Setting Have in Common =-.

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5 Steve

Hi Will,
I just finished a new post on my blog about SPAM. Looks like great minds think alike! Maybe I’ll write a post about GOPHERS next. 🙂
It is quite funny that the person would be offended and ask you why you removed their comments… Steve
.-= Steve´s last blog ..Spam My Blog – Win a Free Link =-.

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6 Will

Yeah thanks everyone. It is very odd. Three of the people that put up 10, 15, or 20, (I stopped counting),comments, actually contacted me and asked why their comments disappeared. They claimed they were fans and had legitimate sites, but their comments were very weak and the sites were things like, “get ugg boots”, whatever those are. Another was “buythatpurse”. Another was a “pharmaceutical” site.

On edit: I went to my spam que and counted and the purse seller actually left 41 comments over the past couple of days. He does seem to have a legitimate site, and may indeed be a nice guy, but he should buy advertising to sell his purses, not go to the trouble of putting up over 40 short comments to try to get link juice! That is the definition of spamming.

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7 Fat is History!

Yeah spammers is a pain. especially for forums they are sucky. they seem to hunt down forums even tho they arent visible in the search engines or anything. And some of the spammers even read captcha and all ;S Easy questions instead or with captcha is the way to go at the moment!
.-= Fat is History!´s last blog ..Loosing weight the lazy way =-.

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8 Will

Maybe my definition of spam is too strict?? Look at the comment right above this one for example. This person has left 3 or 4 comments, (the others were marked as spam). But this is obviously a real person taking the time to put up a comment. But if you look at the linked site, it still has the “Hello World” post, something spammers always seem to leave. It is also a site for one of the big 3 in the spamming world, porn, pharmaceuticals, or, as in this case, weight loss. Then there is nothing but a few weak posts, written in English, but appearing to be written by someone for whom English is not their native language. Then the real red flag is that the only other thing on the site are a whole bunch of Google ads. It is also a very new site. So I see this as spam, albeit human generated spam. What do some of my regular visitors think. Am I correct to mark these as spam, or am I being too strict? As I mentioned above, the thing that really surprised me is that these people take the time to do this.

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9 Steve

Hi Will,
I would have deleted that comment. But that’s just me.
It’s poorly written and doesn’t deserve to be on your blog, and the blog it links to doesn’t deserve to be linked to.
The person doesn’t deserve to have a comment on your blog “just because they took the time to write a half-assed (excuse my French) comment.” 🙂
Anyway, you could leave it but remove the links, or just delete it completely.
I usually only keep comments if the person seems to care about leaving a meaningful comment that will improve my blog (or at least make me laugh), and if they follow my RULES. And every blogger has the right to have any rules he wants!
It’s not worth lowering your standards to get more comments.
Anyway, that’s my opinion.
And maybe that’s why a few people call me the “crotchety old trade show guru”. ~ Steve, the crotchety old trade show guru
.-= Steve´s last blog ..Spam My Blog – Win a Free Link =-.

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10 Will

I agree, Steve. I think I’ll leave it for now just as an example, but these are exactly the kind I have been deleting lately. And the kind of commentator that has, a couple of times, written and complained about their comment being deleted. Oh well.

By the way your comment policy is indeed a good one and by its standards, this stuff is spam.

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11 Kathy

Will, You are definitely not being too strict! On one of my sites, where I sell portable garages, I began a blog-like page so I could put little bits of notes and news up – which I had intended as a way to keep the “human element” alive on an otherwise fairly dry site (after all, how exciting can garage sales be 🙂 ). Anyway, one day, after posting a little note, I happened to notice that there were 1,600 “new posts!”

At first, I thought, “Wow! People are actually reading and commenting on my notes!” Ha ha! Not a chance! It turned out to be the same worthless drivel you are talking about.

While some of it was kind of amusing (e.g. “Yes! I agree completely! You are right!” when all I was posting was a notice that I had become an approved vendor for a specific city), unfortunately, some of it included links to stuff that’s just downright foul.

The worst part was, I couldn’t get rid of it myself since everytime I tried to delete them, my computer locked up. Finally, my hosting company was able to dump it from their end (and they showed me how to control the stuff in the future).

Anyway, just thought I’d share my fun experience!
Cheers!
Kath

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