Monday, October 03, 2005

Comment spam

You will probably have noticed that this blog offers the chance to make a comment on what the blogger has written. Some people read these comments, some don't. And some of you, of course, go to the trouble of writing a comment.

Well, it seems to be an unfortunate fact of life that any blog which attracts even a modest number of readers will also attract the attention of people who put out what is known as 'comment spam'. That is to say, the spammers make a comment (of sorts) and then add a link to some other site which they are being paid to plug.

Much of this comment spam is done by machine, and until yesterday it wasn't a problem. There was only the occasional fake comment, which I deleted by hand. However, yesterday there were 37 fake comments, and this morning there are 384.

Not very amusing.

Of course you are all perfectly capable of recognising a heap of crap when you see one, and are not likely to be misled. On other other hand, the presence of reams of rubbish on the blog is a nuisance for those who actually want to read what others have said.

In order to prevent most of these fake comments from appearing, I have enabled the Blogger facility which introduces one further step for bona fide commenters. This is called word verification. When you wish to make a comment, you will be asked to recognise a word, or a sequence of letters, written in a peculiar typeface, and then type it in manually. The point being that most of this spam is done by machine, and the machines' software can't cope with word verification.

This additional step is a nuisance for anyone who wants to make a comment, but it will not, I believe, take more than a moment and will help to keep the blog clean and tidy.

I don't think I am going to go through various past posts and delete all 400+ fake comments, but I am in the process of removing them from the front page (i.e. the five post recent posts).

Thank you for your patience.

5 comments:

Bill Sinclair said...

dear GOB just a note to say how much I enjoy your daily ruminations. I do not always agree with all of what you have to say....but I always leave your site to get on with the day´s toil feeling encouraged that there is someone out there (wiltshire?)with something to say and who has the ability to say it clearly, cogently and succinctly. Regards.

Iain said...

So that’s it for comment spam, huh? Fair enough.

But the odd thing is that I was beginning to enjoy it, and I wondered if anyone else suffers from my own unfortunate affliction: I am addicted to the reading of tripe.

It began in childhood with cereal packets, but, like an alcoholic in denial, for many years I would not admit that I had a problem. It was junk mail that did it. Proper letters I would ignore, greedily ripping open all the garbage just to see how cringingly awful were the latest attempts to sell me things I didn’t want, at a price I couldn’t afford. It became so bad that it took me at last to my highest state of indignation, namely the feeling that something ought to be done about it.

At this point, you understand, I was still in denial: the problem was with the junk, not with me. And then, perhaps a decade ago, the supply dried up almost completely. My local sorting office must have made the unilateral decision that I would receive no more. I was devastated, and have not been quite the same since. I mean, how can I go along to my sorting office and say ‘Please may I have my junk mail back?’

But there was balm for my suffering soul. At about the same time, I began receiving spam in my email, and no one has yet found an effective means of stopping it. For the most part, this is divided between promises to enlarge my penis (and occasionally my breasts), and promises to make me rich tomorrow. Both are interesting, but penis enlargement is my favourite, and I commend it to you.

Indeed, some of this fascinating stuff was beginning to appear on the GOB. But no more, I fear, no more comment spam of any kind. Well, I say again, fair enough Your Grumpiness. But I’ll miss it. I’ll miss it . . .

Enchanted Cuban said...

I second Mr. Sinclair's sentiments. However, I usually DO agree with what you have to say. All the best from New Jersey.

melly said...

Same here. I read you blog nearly daily.
Unfortuantely the comment spam / email spam / junk mail / telemarketers are now daily reality. All trying to invade our lives...

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