It’s April 22nd here in Australia which means according to the SheThought.com blog (which incidentally I suggest you read), it’s time for me and all other self professed skeptics around the world to blog about blogging.
The topic I’ve decided to cover on blogging is comments, or more specifically spam. Comments in themselves are a huge thing that most first time bloggers don’t usually realise will become such a drama, but it is something worth thinking about. What kind of moderation will you put in place? What automated systems? How will you handle abusive comments? Trolls (people who post purely to upset others)? Fights? Threats?
These are all things to think about, and on this blog here I have yet to actually decide on a policy myself despite this blog being well over a year old already. I have full moderation turned on, meaning I have to approve every single comment. I want it this way until I decide on a policy as I don’t want to be pulling comments that have already appeared. I am also yet to refuse a comment submission with one exception. That exception being, if it looked like spam.
The main purpose of comment spam is for gaming search engines. The more websites that link to ones website the higher it is ranked, so spammers tend to use bots and botnets to go around visiting web pages, news sites, and anywhere that allows responses so they can reply with something that links to the website they want to pimp.
With that information in mind, take a look at the screenshot from my blog of comments awaiting review and let me know which ones you think are spam.
How many did you get? If all of them, that’s correct. That’s actually a screenshot of my spam folder. There are no legitimate comments awaiting review at this moment in time. The ones I want to pay special attention to are the ones like the bottom two and the top one. They’re pure spam, nothing more. Strangely, the ones that don’t get caught by my spam filter are always on my “about” page – why would my “about” page be a “great article! Very deep, keep up the great work!” as some of them tend to say.
I’ve actually noticed on quite a few prominent skeptics blogs, podcast pages, and other things like that a swarm of comments of this style.. I’m not sure if it’s because the person overviewing them isn’t aware, not paying much attention, or not watching at all. They scream “spam” to me, and I’m hoping to make others aware of this as well. Spam will not always be the obvious random text or a flood of links (though regularly it is).
I hope you have learnt something here. If not, then I hope that means I’m preaching to the already aware which is a good thing. When viewing blogs be wary of following these links to as they could be to sites that are infected with malware. To protect yourself against that take a quick gander at this blog post here.
Hope you all have a great day and enjoy WOLYBYGIB (We Only Like You Because You’re Good In Blog) day.
Edit: Forgot to link to my blog post on protecting yourself.