Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spam Commenting and What To Do About It


Alright, listen up! I am furious right now. Murderously angry. If you are a blogger, this will make sense to you. If you are not, try to follow along, because this is REALLY important.

This morning I woke up to find, not one, not two, but FOURTEEN spam comments on my blog. Fourteen spam comments in five hours. And to top it off: Blogger did not identify any of them as spam. None of them! I was left with fourteen spam comments all over my blog, not just one post. So I made sure to delete every single one of them immediately. Another thing: Blogger always sends me an email when a new comment is posted. Always. But not today; I didn't get a notification email for any of them. Have spammers figured out a new way to go undetected or is Gmail just stupid?

Spammers seem to be evolving and finding new ways to trick Blogger. Seven months ago, when I first started blogging, I got the occasional spam comment, maybe one or two a month. I always deleted them, or Blogger caught them. But in recent months, I've been getting a lot, and Blogger hasn't been catching any of them. I know part of why I've been getting spammed is because I removed the word verification from my blog. The reason I did that is because I hate having to do that every time I post a comment, and I know my readers hate it, too. 

But what do I mean by, "Spammers are evolving"? I mean that it's getting harder and harder for Blogger to identify them. Not just Blogger, but the bloggers as well. Here are a few ways to know if a comment is spam:

  • Most spam comments are posted by "Anonymous". Note: If it is by Anonymous, but there is no link or advertising, it is NOT spam.
  • Even if it does not say "Anonymous", it will not have a real name. Here are a few of my " Named Spammers":
                                          A. Head Lice Shampoo
                                          B. johndaddy
                                          C. Salon
                                          D. How To Stay Sober
                                          E. GreenCoffee
  • If the name seems a little off, click on it. If it does not take you to a Blogger or Google+ profile, it's spam.
  • If it says "Visit my website" or has random words with links in them, it's spam.
  • Spammers will NEVER mention your blog by name. They will say "this post" or "this site". It's vague enough to trick you into thinking they are talking about your blog.
  • Spam comments are often typed in somewhat broken English. It's still English, but words are missing, or phrases are mixed up.
  • A lot of spam comments are about nothing in particular, just random babbling.
Why Blogger does not identify them as spam:

  •  Blogger does not moderate the names, just the comment.
  •  Also, spammers are tricking Blogger by asking questions in their comments. Even if the question doesn't make any sense, Blogger doesn't know that it's a fake question.
  • Spammers often give fake compliments like, "great post" or "I thoroughly enjoy this". Don't fall for it.
How to prevent the spam comments next time:
  • Turn on the word verification feature under Blogger's "posts and comments" settings. It's annoying, but it really is important.
  • Delete anything that looks like spam immediately. If spammers see other spam, they swarm like seagulls.
  • If you aren't going to turn on word verification, at least moderate your comments.
  • Occasionally, spam comments will still slip through the cracks of word verification. That's okay, as long as you delete them.
I hope this was helpful. Spam comments are irritating, and can cause people to lose some respect for your blog. Yes, I am turning word verification back on, and I'm sorry, but I really have to. I don't have time to moderate every comment, so this is my only choice.

Now onto a lighter, happier subject: Christmas. Mine was wonderful, thanks for asking, I hope you had a wonderful one as well.

Lainey
                                        

12 comments:

  1. Ah, well .. I was trying to avoid the word verification ordeal on my blog, but I sure don't want to deal with the spam either .. (sigh).

    Thanks for the warning :-)

    Monica
    www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, Monica :) I know it's a pain... It wouldn't be a problem if Blogger actually CAUGHT the spam comments. Have you had any problems with spam so far?

      Delete
    2. Hi Lainey,

      No, no problems yet (knock on wood!), but my blog is barely 2 months old .. I'm sure those people with lot's-o-time on their hands will discover me at some point in time.

      Monica
      www.pear-shaped-gal.com

      Delete
    3. Glad you haven't had any problems yet :-) As long as you keep the word verification on, Pear Shaped Gal should be safe from spam.

      Delete
  2. Hi Lainey,

    I've been having the same exact problem. Anonymous... with a link to something totally irrelevant to blogging. I didn't get as many as you, but it's starting to happen more often. I was considering creating a blog post about it, but I knew nothing about the problem, lol. Thanks for a really informative post :)

    I've always had my comment moderation setting on, just in case I get any rude or hurtful comments. I usually get the email notification, sometimes I miss a few. I guess I need to do the verification thing now, at least for a little while :(

    Thanks for the tips!

    Emmy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Emmy,
      Thanks for braving the word verification to leave a comment, hehe.

      I really wish Blogger would start catching the spam comments, ya know? I keep thinking about moderating my comments, but I'm just so LAZY, lol. I'm really not sure why I haven't been gettting the emails, though. It's probably just a fluke.

      Delete
  3. Great post! I'm sorry you had to deal with that, but thanks for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Meredith. Why people even POST spam comments is beyond me!

      Delete
  4. Oh yikes so sorry about the spammers-thanks for sharing!!! Also thanks so much for stopping by and following........following you back!!

    

♥ Elle
    www.thehighfeather.com 
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    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Lainey!! Very useful information! Hope Blogger can improve this soon.
    Rocío
    fashioningmylifeindc.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rocio. It's like a spam-palooza!

      Delete

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