Sufficient Scruples

Bioethics, healthcare policy, and related issues.

June 1, 2012

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

by @ 2:19 PM. Filed under General, Meta

So apparently there’s a new trend in spamming: paying wage-slaves who, apparently, couldn’t find a job gold farming in WoW to cruise blogs and hand-type vaguely relevant but meaningless comments with embedded links to spam client sites. The comments are coherent enough that they evade spam filters like Akismet, and the workers are cheap enough that this, apparently, is a profitable form of parasitism.

I’ve just deleted a couple of dozen comment spams of this type, and presumably the problem will only get worse. At some point I may have to implement Captcha or another form of verification. Sorry for the inconvenience, but sleaze rises to the top, and never slows down.

14 Responses to “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

  1. Katie L Says:

    I hear ya. I get so many lousy comments that I don’t even bother going through my comments anymore to see if there is anything legit in there. I should probably get somebody to go through the 10k “pending” comments I have awaiting moderation in the unlikely event that there is something worthy of my attention.

  2. none Says:

    If the spam comments are typed by people, then Captcha won’t help at all.

  3. Kevin T. Keith Says:

    No, you’re right. That wasn’t a good idea. This is a pain.

  4. Lee Says:

    p.s. Doesn’t askimet catch these spammers, as you’re a wordpress blog?
    Lee´s last blog post ..Fresh Bites

  5. Kevin T. Keith Says:

    Thanks for commenting.

    Akismet catches virtually all “normal” spam (word salads and garbled postings, massive link dumps, or non-English text). It is a lot less sensitive to the type of spam I’m talking about here – actual comments hand-typed in, presumably by low-wage “spam farmers”, that are mostly grammatical and vaguely reference the content of the post, and include one or two commercial links. Even I am sometimes unsure whether a given comment is spam or just off-topic but from a legitimate reader. It’s the volume and consistency of these non-germane comments, and the fact that they contain links to commercial websites, that makes it clear they’re really spam.

    Akismet catches some but not all of them, and that’s the problem. I have to delete dozens a week that get through, though there are more caught in the filter. I don’t think there’s a solution to this problem – the spam comments are “real” comments, they’re just posted in bad faith. But it’s frustrating to have to take up my time to monitor them.

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