Blog Comment Spam

by Stubborn Mule on 1 December 2008 · 7 comments

What with buying a new house, going on holiday and now trying to sell the old house, it has been a while since my last post. Here is a quick reflection on blog comment spam to ease myself back into my blogging regimen.

Those who have never written a blog may not be aware of the phenomenon of blog comment spam. The basic idea is the same as email spam: to drive traffic to websites featuring pornography, viagra or worse. Fortunately, spam filtering software works as well, if not better, for blog comment spam as it does for email spam.

So far, the Akismet filter I use has caught 2,572 spam comments (which compares to 462 legitimate comments) and perusing the spam gives an interesting and occasionally amusing insight into the various approaches used by spammers. Most spam is simply long lists of websites with salacious-sounding titles. More ambitious spammers try to beat the filters with vaguely plausible sounding comments like “Excellent post!” or “I’m a long-time lurker and thought I’d say “Hi”. Of course, the text is just the bait. The hook is the web-link that a few unwary readers may be tempted to click.

Since the aim is really only to beat the filter not a human (in something of an inverse Turing Test), many spammers seem happy to try posts that are little more than gibberish. Perhaps these are the work of automatic text generators or non-English speakers using computer translation, but whatever the source the results can be hilarious. While I will not give the spammer the satisfaction of sharing the target web address, I can’t resist sharing the latest gem I received.

Hi. I repeatedly be familiar with this forum. This is the head period undisputed to ask a query. How multifarious in this forum are references progressive behind, knavish users? Can I worthiness all the communication that there is?

To “worthiness all the commication that there is” sounds like a worthy goal for all dedicated web-surfers (even the knavish ones)!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steve December 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Actually sean, that was me. I just forgot to add my name…… (sorry!)

2 Dan December 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Welcome back and Amen to akismet!

and quite a gem this piece is, tripple word score on the following:

Multifarious, Knavish.

Good luck with the house(s)

3 stubbornmule December 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm

@Dan: you must have been hanging out with real-estate agents! The last time I saw the spelling “tripple” was on a For Sale sign! A couple of days after I pointed it out, it had been taped over with “triple”.

But thanks for your wishes of luck (I think we’ll need lots).

4 Dan December 5, 2008 at 8:22 am

ouch, my bad. although in scrabble there are extra points to be had with creative misspellings!

5 stubbornmule December 5, 2008 at 8:31 am

Only if you can get away with them!

6 Svasti December 24, 2008 at 10:35 am

I love Akismet – but then, I love WordPress and everything that goes along with it. Actually the most satisfying thing about Askismet is that it’s invisible to users and doesn’t get in the way of legitimate commenters.

7 SwenoroLent January 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm – cool sitename man)))

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