Spam Evolves: Watch Out

A few weeks ago I wrote a simple blog post “How do I get more comments on my blog?” My brother Damian Dayton wrote this thoughtful reply in the comments section:

I forget about this often, but when I teach, I spend more time thinking about the questions I will ask the students than the material I teach.

questions lead to engagement. I forget this when I am blogging. Hey, Why didn’t you ask a question in your blog post.

P.S. great use of Old 97’s.

I approved the comment, it didn’t have perfect punctuation, but it came from my brother, so I quickly approved it.  A few days later, I had a new comment awaiting approval (always a nice sign) except this time it was from someone named “Karen” who has a goal setting website (which I will not link to here for obvious reasons.)  What did she have to say about my blog post?

I forget about this often, but when I teach, I spend more time thinking about the questions I will ask the students than the material I teach.

questions lead to engagement. I forget this when I am blogging. Hey, Why didn’t you ask a question in your blog post.

P.S. great use of Old 97’s.

The second comment was EXACTLY the same as my brother’s previous post, and if I hadn’t read it carefully I might have just approved it out of habit.  This spam comment is obviously created by some sort of automated SPAM bot that copies comments, and then automatically posts them under another name.  Since then I have had 8 more comments that were similar trying to get me to link to different websites.

There are a couple of problems with these new “spam” comments.  First, Worpress doesn’t recognize them as spam comments because they seem legitimate- so they need to be moderated. Second, if you have somebody else moderating your blog (that moderates many blogs) then these messages will likely slip through sometimes.  Be on the lookout.

There is one other form these “spam” comments take.  They will also quote Twitter comments about your post, and then link back to the their site.  Don’t approve these!  It will only encourage those dastardly spammers.

Comments

8 Responses to “Spam Evolves: Watch Out”

  1. Stephen says:

    Good timing. Just today I was reading a blog post and was going through the comments and saw exactly what you are talking about. They must either not moderate their comments or just missed it, but I definitely thought it was odd that ‘Amy’ would say the same thing as the person 2 comments up had said (he actually is a frequent commenter also).

    • Thanks for the comment, yeah I hadn’t really seen anybody mention this- so I figured I should give people a head’s up.

      I didn’t really mention this in my post, but I tell all of my clients MODERATE YOUR POSTS – otherwise you can have all sorts of spam show up. If you do a good job of moderating though, you will catch 99.5% percent of that stuff.

  2. Adrian, thanks for the heads up. If the people behind these efforts would just do something worthy with their time instead of wasting ours, we’d be in great shape, right?

  3. corrin says:

    I’ve been noticing these spam comments for about a month now. The first one quoted a comment by my sister and thew me for a loop. They are incredibly annoying, and kind of creepy.

  4. Adrian, thanks for the heads up on this – I was at a panel earlier in the month and someone said they thought you should just automatically approve all comments, and then go back and review later for spam. To me, the type of comments you mentioned above are one more reason to do the work of moderating them in advance. Thanks!

  5. Ann says:

    I have had a lot of this. Usually if I read them very carefully they don’t fit the post perfectly. But sometimes I just don’t know and waffle back and forth on whether to approve them or not.

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