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FYI - blog spam: the next generation?

11-06-2009, 07:18 PM
#1
FYI - blog spam: the next generation?

Just a heads-up in case it’s not already on the radar:

I noticed a dating site spam message that is very well disguised on a recent article: http://toucharcade.com/2009/11/06/ka...and-sideshows/
…and the same just appeared on several other TA stories.

Sounds like TouchArcade is about to be under attack by the same problem (gravatar, wordpress) that this guy was—spammers that make seemingly relevant comments:
http://jaybot7.com/blog/warning-flin...re-intelligent

(But he says they are really smart bots; whereas I wonder if there isn’t a human sweatshop component, or even Mechanical Turk! Cranking out goof “relevant” comments in such quantities sounds like too much for AI, or for a single person.)

Morgan Adams (GameCenter: “Adams Immersive”)
My upcoming first game: Scree (Forum thread)
My upcoming VR horror experience: This is Not the Church of the Worm (Forum thread)
Stop making lists. Organize with shapes and colors instead: DotSpace (Forum thread)

Last edited by Adams Immersive; 11-06-2009 at 07:21 PM.
11-06-2009, 07:30 PM
#2
Joined: May 2009
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 5,809
Uhh, i dont see it

Add me on Steam for TF2: eggzbacon

11-06-2009, 07:31 PM
#3
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
When the name is red it is a link. Click on Monica's name.
11-06-2009, 07:37 PM
#4
Joined: May 2009
Location: The Golden State
Posts: 5,809
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMc99 View Post
When the name is red it is a link. Click on Monica's name.
Ohh.

Add me on Steam for TF2: eggzbacon
11-07-2009, 09:47 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 686
There is nothing new there, nothing at all. It's just that some people have started to notice and others are being hit for the first time. These spammers aren't stupid - they know just what they are doing. Hit everyone all at once and they get noticed, word gets round, they get closed down. So they move carefully.
They also impact sites that are not WordPress and that do not use Akismet. They rely on a blog owner seeing a gravatar will assume they are a real person. Someone is spamming here? So they sign up, login, find a thread and spam. I've reported it here a couple of times too, and on other sites.

In the end, check. That's all. Find out where the links go and act accordingly.
11-08-2009, 02:04 AM
#6
Joined: May 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 75
If the comments are intelligent and relevant, is it really spam?

What's worse: an intelligent comment made by someone with a link to a dating site they are plugging, or one of the many inane comments made by people who aren't spammers but who are unintelligent?

edit: I mean a case where the link is in the name and is unobtrusive. A link within the comment itself would be another story.

I don't have a dog in this fight, as I'm not selling anything, but it seems to me that it's not quite so cut and dried.

Last edited by monkeys37; 11-08-2009 at 02:05 AM. Reason: clarification
11-08-2009, 06:33 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 686
It's spam if you say it's spam.

Here's one tactic: Mary leaves a comment and the website she links to in her name is innocent. She returns and continues to make relevant comments. And at some point her link changes to porn, pills or something equally vile. But because you now like her comments you probably don't notice. This is the link that her name goes to, not a link in a post.

'nofollow' does not work for those that will say to use it.

Here's another tactic: Mary does her comment thing but her link goes to somewhere else. You might check it once but that's it. Later on her link gets a redirect to somewhere nasty too.

"Hi, nice site!"
"Great post"
"I have bookmarked your site" and similar unexpected praise is all spam, all junk.

captcha does not work so please don't rely on that.

Bill Bartman? Huge spammer. http://forum.moldova.org/index.php? showuser=4281 - click nothing there - is just one example.

It used to be bots that did this, now it's people. They are paid to comment, they have templates of replies to use. They follow up the sites they used and where their comments are allowed to stay they leave more. Other spammers see this so they too leave more with you.

And don't forget that this isn't just about a link to buy pills. It's also about getting malware onto computers. That's a pay industry too.

In the end it's your website and we all like comments but if you aren't sure, just remove their links. They rely on you looking once then not looking again but they are playing the long game.
11-08-2009, 01:01 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by markx2 View Post
It's spam if you say it's spam.
Fair enough. Stop spamming then.

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ
11-08-2009, 01:13 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 686
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidianGTX View Post
Fair enough. Stop spamming then.
What?
11-08-2009, 01:19 PM
#10
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Quote:
Originally Posted by markx2 View Post
What?
Apparently we call the shots on what is and isn't spam, so I judged your post as spam and sentenced it to 3 months community service.

  /l、
゙(゚、 。 7 ノ
 l、゙ ~ヽ
 じしf_, )ノ