>Several people this week asked why I no longer allow Anonymous Users to comment on the blog. The reason is comment spam: literally the same day Blogger started its new spam filtering process, I was inundated with comment spam. It was truly “coincidental.” I’d always had a handful of spam comments before but this is something else entirely: we’re talking 30 or 40 a day. This uptick in volume was very strange seeing as how it coincided with Blogger’s new spam filtering service but what do I know; I always suspected companies like Google and AOL are in cahoots with the spammers. Blogger gives me this blog for free so I wouldn’t be shocked to learn somewhere down the food chain they’re making money off of us.

*** Adjusts tinfoil hat. ***

Anyway, last night I switched back to allowing Anonymous Users before going to bed and I woke up this morning to 10 spam comments. So it appears they found me again. Sorry. I’m changing back. I just don’t have time to troll through dozens of spam comments a day.

I understand registering with Google or OpenID is a hassle and undesirable to some folks. I already have a Google account via Blogger so I really can’t appreciate why its an ordeal but I trust you when you tell me you’ll get inundated with e-mail spam. Believe me, I trust you on this one! I guess the spammers have won.

I don’t understand spam. It seems so pointless to me. Why does anyone think this is a good way to advertise their product? You really think pissing people off is a great sales pitch? Of course, spammers aren’t selling a product they are trolling for hits, but still: I thought the whole point of a hit is to get a page view and ideally a sale. I don’t see it working that way.

I recently heard of the guy behind Dan Hates Spam. Daniel Balsam is a lawyer who now makes a very comfortable living suing spammers. He lives entirely off of the pre-trial settlements and judgments. I’m told this is how Fred Phelps and his merry hatemongers make their living, too: filing First Amendment lawsuits and living off the judgments. I prefer Daniel Balsam’s ploy: spammers are truly the scum of the earth.

Maybe some day I’ll change from Blogger to WordPress but no one has told me that this service is any better.


Filed under spam

13 responses to “>Housekeeping

  1. >I haven't been writing much this past half-year, but when I did, I seldom got spam. The spam catcher on W/P is pretty good.That said, I'm glad you don't allow anonymous comments. I used to rail on about having to "sign in" to comment, but now I believe that if what I have to say is important, I'll take an extra 10 seconds to do so. Sometimes I decide that I don't have a constructive comment, and I go away, but rest assured i always read this blog, and sometimes I smile about something you wrote for the rest of my day. (I hope no one is on dangling modifier patrol)

  2. >Akismet (the spam protection WordPress uses) is damn good. Just checked my akismet stats: in the life of my blog I've gotten 7,071 spam comments caught by the filter and 5 missed. 6 were listed as false positives but at least one of those was an actual spam comment that I ended up letting through (sans link) for its sheer coincidental comedic value relative to the post it was on.-dolphin

  3. >In general, the spammers don't care if your readers see their crap. What they are trying to do is game Google's reputation system-A link from a legitimate source with some traffic makes them appear more legitimate to Google's search algorithm. Not sure what I'd do if I had enough traffic to attract lots of spammers. The few I get are almost always on old posts, so I've set anything over 2 weeks old to moderated, this catches 95% of them.

  4. >I guess my blog is so undervisited that spammers haven't bothered to inundate my site… which is sort of a mixed blessing.I've had TROLLS aplenty, though. I'd rather have spam than some wanker who sits in the dark jumping on my every post with criticism coined from his daily dosage of Rush Limbaugh diarrhea. I've put moderation of comments on, the taken them back off because it was discouraging regular readers who liked the immediacy of commenting without moderation.You can't win…Adjusting your tin foil hat, eh? Very nice…(where are those sold, by the way?)

  5. >I don't know if it's much of a problem for folks these days, but aren't a lot of spambots also capable of spreading worms, TH's and virii?And once again, the goddamned sign-in is required twice!

  6. >And once again, the goddamned sign-in is required twice!Really? I didn't know that. I did get rid of the annoying "capcha" crap which I hate. It wasn't doing anything in regards to Spam prevention.I really don't have that much traffic, that's the thing. 3,000 page views a week? That's not very much. The few times I've gotten linked off a big blog like Eschaton or Digby I got that much in an hour but that hardly ever happens.I don't know what the "big" bloggers do to prevent spam. Surely they do something ….

  7. >Hello, I read your blog and am from Spring Hill and it is good to have Liberal folks in this Red State

  8. >SB –This, for you, just because I care.Cheers!JzB

  9. >@Jazzbumpa:And the Spam jokes just keep on comin!:-)

  10. >"I don't understand spam. It seems so pointless to me"Sort of reminds me of Republicans.

  11. >Yeah, I'm with Dolphin on the spam thing. Akismet is a wonderful plugin. I get somewhere between 10 and 50 spam comments a week and it catches them all – better than Google does with my email, really.I've only pulled one comment out of the spam in all these years.My only issue is that the Google sign in here requires me to do it twice – there's always an issue of some sort that requires me to type in my password a second time.

  12. >Yeah someone else mentioned the need to sign i twice, too. Don't know what's up with that. I don't have time this week to deal with it but I'll investigate Akismet when I have a chance.