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What The F*ck Is With the Spam Lately

By - October 23, 2006

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I was so happy with Akismet, WordPress’ spam fighting plugin, but lately, I have been deleting more than 50 spams a day. It’s driving me out of my mind. I leave the blog for a few hours – like today, where I went down to spend the afternoon with Yahoo – and damned if there aren’t the spam bots waiting to strike. Message to spammers: F*CK YOU.

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17 thoughts on “What The F*ck Is With the Spam Lately

  1. matrix says:

    Doesn’t WordPress support word verification? I turned it on my blog and I get virtually no spam – maybe one a month. If someone wants to take the time out to post a comment the least they can do is type in a few words to verify they are human.

  2. Yes, it is a big trouble fighting spambots, but whenever I see commnents on your blog, I also see humans spamming your blog – especially someone who writes spam comments with name starting from Tramado…. telling worthless things like … ‘I don’t have much to say these days … etc. The only way to stop such spams is by making it mandatory to register before posting any comments. If you found any spam comments you can then disable that account or ban the IP address.

  3. Kempton says:

    I feel your pain John. And I echo your message to the spammers. I have been working on two Wikipedia entries lately. And I notice those fu*king spammers are now embedding their links into some perfectly ok Wikipedia entries! Which will waste the volunteering editors time to revert those stupid spams. It just sucks.

    I wonder if these f***ing spammers’ main sites (i.e. that sites that want traffic) can be penalized and even banned by google? Just a thought.

  4. matrix says:

    I wouldn’t require log-in. You’ll lose a lot of comments that way. It just seems odd that WordPress doesn’t offer Word verification. Blogger does. Check out the comments in my blog for an example : ) matrixsynth. I alow anonymous posts, but a human has to type in the letters they see in an image to comment. It keeps the bots out. The funny thing is the humans that do spam on my site always use their blogger accounts rather than an anonymous account.

  5. Well, though WordPress does not support word verification, there are many plugins or captcha available for wordpress. But this blog is apparantly not powered by WordPress – the footer says it is powered by Movable Type 3.2. One of the good captcha for movable type is SCODE – you can get it at plugins.movalog.com/scode

  6. I’m running Spam Karma 2 alongside Akismet after noticing a sudden increase in comment spam about three weeks ago. SK2 appears to rock – so far no false positives and no false negatives.

  7. DJ Neawedde says:

    I have also been happy with Akismet, however lately I have been deleting dozens of spam coments a day too…they seem to be getting way worse, and extremely annoying.

  8. Jay Small says:

    SK2 and Akismet together may indeed help. I’ve used both for a while now with good results.

    FWIW, I’ve also seen an uptick in e-mail spam of a kind that baffles Bayesian filters and gets through SpamAssassin, mostly pushing penny stocks.

    But now that most blogware makes links in comments rel=”nofollow” I don’t understand the logic behind new pushes by comment spammers. Seems like diminished returns to me. Then again, no one ever claimed spammers had common sense.

  9. MikeOK says:

    Hi John

    Check out this article on the advanced bot network that has been found. http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20061020/tc_zd/191975 It goes as far as to install an anti-virus client that removes any other malware on your machine that is taking up resources. It is also a P2P network. That means that as long as the spammer has control of at least one computer in the peer group, he can restart the network. The problem is that most of these viruses are getting so advanced that virus checks don’t catch them and the only real solution is a re-install of the operating system. BTW, I think this is also how spammers are frauding the PPC networks. Mike

  10. Mr. Battelle – On WordPress here at the gwhiz blog and you’re spot on: The spammers are on a recent rampage. At least the ones from Google’s Blogger can be flagged as an objectionable blog. I make it a habit to give them an objectionable flag and have seen a few of them taken down. They’re going to spring up all over again though… Still, if we make them migratory a bit of their incentive gets torpedo’d.

  11. I know it’s already been mentioned, but I have also heard many great things about SpamKarma:
    http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/

    And since it can co-exist with Akismet, it certainly won’t make things any worse.

  12. SorenG says:

    John, I vote for a registration, then you either drop a cookie so I am always logged in, or I just put my user name and PW in when I post. Also, I like the quick pop up registration — we do it here: http://www.tricycle.zooleo.com/ (Click register). Also, I would limit length of posts. Put a counter on so people know how many characters they have. Click Ask at the same url above to see ours. Limit to length of posts and reg will make it much easier think. My 2 cents. I am not familiar with the Akismet and others.

    Lastly, a tagging system may help too, the option to tag a comment as spam. Once it gets 3 or 5 spams, it automatically is deleted. This way, you have much less work. Good luck.

  13. ArchitekturA says:

    Registration is not – I believe – a solution if there is plenty of free email services, so humans will spam.

    The strange thing is “nofollow” tag does not make the spammers go away!

  14. Dustin says:

    It’s an arms race. Akismet works well, so more people start using it, so it becomes attractive for spammers to break it. The same thing will happen with any standardized anti-spam tool you adopt.

    A solution to this arms race is to add an anti-spam device that is unique to your site. It doesn’t have to be very complicated at all. On my weblog I added a simple field to the comments that says “Enter the word HUMAN:”. Incredibly simple to add and for users to follow. Since it’s unique to your site, it will impervious to all the standardized spam bots running around out there.

  15. Bostjan says:

    I would recommend using Spam karma 2 (http://unknowngenius.com/blog/wordpress/spam-karma/). Since installation, i had no problems with spam at all.

  16. Alex says:

    I agree with Bostjan, Spam karma works excellent.

  17. david ponce says:

    FWIW, John, Akismet has a paid, and non-paid service. For $5 a month, you can get priority on their server. I get the feeling that when u get a deluge of spam, it’s when Akismet’s low-priority servers are being overwhelmed, and stuff gets through. But, I pay $5 a month, and it rarely happens that I have to delete more than two or three a day. Akismet catches 3,000 spam comments each day, on average, on OhGizmo. I’d say it’s doing a good job. :)

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