Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fun with Spam

I get some great comments on this blog that have contributed greatly to learning about money. However, there are many spam comments that you won’t see because I’ve filtered them out. Recently, the number of these commercial comments has increased to dozens per day.

For this reason, I’m forced to turn on “word verification”. This means that when you make a comment, you’ll have to look at a picture of a twisted word and type it in. It’s not difficult, but I hate to make commenters do this. If it cuts out enough of the spam comments, I may be able to turn off comment moderation which will make the whole experience more interactive with your comments appearing more quickly.

The typical spam comment consists of some gibberish followed by links to web sites selling some dubious products like drugs or porn. To give you an idea of what I’ve been seeing, here are a couple of the tamer spam comments (without the links) translated into English:

“H is common knowledge now one of the girls. And actually pay for one want them to see the H, points in the excitement of shyness or a compliment! She and Ona such Onameru The Ministry of Relief and we would love to hear and Nanako - H”

“Now the beach is an impressive star of here! Mobile PC not only easily find an opponent! New Star Beach probability of meeting markedly UP”

What are these people selling? The nonsense gives some clues, but I won’t follow the links to find out for sure.

I’m sorry to be blogging about blogging instead of blogging about money today. I thought it was important to explain the change. I’m hoping that those who’ve chosen to comment on past posts will continue to comment in the future.


  1. I'm thinking of doing the same thing. Yesterday I had 35 garbage comments to delete. I think I have a plugin that asks once for verification and then any comments thereafter are verification free... Don't know if Blogger has something similar?

    Good luck and wood impresses mightily the desirable womens

  2. Yeah, the spam's been terrible for me too lately. Some of it is very flattering, if repetitive ("Great blog, I will bookmark it. [Drug name]") I haven't tried to install a captcha yet, instead nearly any word will now land you in the moderation queue until I free it up.

    What I found interesting is that most of the spam is for the usual suspects: porn sites, disreputable pharmaceutical pushers, etc. However, one of the daily spammers (always with a different name but same IP) was trying to link to a particular Ontario Chevrolet dealership. I haven't done anything about it yet, but should I perhaps tell them that whatever "online social media advertiser" they've hired is actually a spam-bot? Do they know?

    How can we convince legitimate businesses that spam is not an appropriate advertising medium? (The scammers, I imagine, don't care)

  3. Preet: To my knowledge Blogger doesn't have any way to only occasionally do the word verification. Your "wood" line is funny, but way too coherent if the spam I see is any indication.

    Potato: I'd be interested in knowing whether spam is actually profitable for scammers or for legitimate businesses. If it is profitable, then it will be hard to convince anyone that it isn't appropriate.

  4. Well, to convince them, we have to make it not profitable! I was considering making a post about it, advising people to avoid them, but I'm afraid that it may be a case of any publicity being good publicity.

    They seem to have stopped though -- none from them yesterday, and none today.

  5. All your bases are belong to us!

    SPAM is tasty fried as well!