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Bane of the Blogger

27 Nov

As bloggers we go through moments when we can’t think of a single thing to blog; we have some anxiety regarding comments because without them, we don’t know if our word is getting out and wrack our brains to come up with that one train of thought that will have people flocking to our blogs in droves – but these are some of the occupational hazards of being a blogger… but there’s something else that plagues us, something we have little control over:  Spam.

I don’t think there are many days where I don’t open my WordPress Dashboard and see the “Spam” indicator populated.  Spammers who attack blogs are, in my opinion, some very stupid people since, in this case, WordPress intercepts it and flags it… but for me to get rid of it, shit, I still have to give it a look.  Now, it’s bad enough to get spammed in English… but I’ve been spammed in several languages including Russian, Chinese (Mandarin), and Arabic!

Some of the spam is a confusion of words, like, I can tell when someone’s used a web-based translator to work-up their spam because the sentences don’t make sense; I know you have to be able to think in the language you’re trying to write in because the translators are very literal.  Some of it is very cleverly written and, damn it, I actually have to read it, check the source and the topic before deciding, yeah, this is bullshit – Delete Permanently.  A lot of the spam I see get deposited via a bot, a piece of programming code that scans the Internet for certain or specific keywords and then drops in for an unwanted visit.  For instance, I wrote about music last night and, this morning, I had three pieces of spam and one was in Russian.

Maybe these spammers aren’t as dumb as they appear to be… because their whole purpose is to get their crap read, even if it’s only to get it deleted.  I’m hesitant to invoke Captcha on my blog, which would require human input but since I’m not getting horribly spammed to death, I won’t do it unless I start getting bombed by it.  I’ve run across it while commenting on blogs and while those skewed letters tend to give my old eyes fits, it is a necessary evil.  By the way, if you’ve wondered why the characters are wavy or otherwise distorted, it’s to defeat text recognition software that could otherwise easily read them without human intervention…

I worked as a systems engineer and specialized in email, antivirus, and antispam so I’m aware of all the tricks and the like and our way of dealing with spam was to shunt it off to the side before our users ever saw it and it was damned effective to quarantine it at our incoming SMTP servers, the one downside being that there were times we’d have to go in there to get mail ID’d as valid by our users – but we’d rarely do that; once in quarantine, it took an act of high-level corporate permission to get it released.

But, here in an environment where I no longer have that kind of control, well, it doesn’t make me happy – but I understand what WordPress and the other blogging sites are up against regarding spam and it makes me very glad to be retired and to not have to worry about this day in and day out… at least on the systems side of the deal.

How badly do you guys get spammed?  For those who use Captcha, does it work well for you or does spam manage to slip in between the cracks?  Holla at your boy!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 27 November 2011 in Life, Living and Loving

 

7 responses to “Bane of the Blogger

  1. Lafemmeroar

    27 November 2011 at 13:49

    I just commented about SPAM on another blog. I love reading them–the typos and syntax errors are hilarious. No SPAM has slipped by YET; but I’ve been tempted to do a posting of some of the hilarious messages I get. Most of them are for how to make “schlongs” bigger. Now, that’s plenty of material for fodder right there.

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    • kdaddy23

      27 November 2011 at 14:02

      I know what you mean; I just finished reading another blogger’s lament about spam and one of their commenters said they routinely deal with thousands of pieces of spam… daily (http://maureenholland.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/um-wordpress-78-spam-to-deal-with/)! I know spamming software uses keyword recognition; you write about schlongs, you get spam about penis enlargement. I can normally spot “legit” spam in a couple of seconds but some of it is rather creative in its composition and I’ve found myself sitting here and having to think, “Is this spam?”

      When in doubt, Delete Permanently. What I’d like to see here is the ability to add a piece of spam to WordPress’s internal blacklist; I’m not sure if this happens in the background when you delete the spam. Still, the best way to do it is to quarantine it before it ever reaches our blogs but it increases the risk of legitimate comments not getting through as well.

      It is a pretty problem…

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  2. marriagecoach1

    27 November 2011 at 14:14

    Hey Rob
    Yea me too. I have had about 15,000 spam comments and only about 3,000 legit comments.
    John

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    • kdaddy23

      27 November 2011 at 15:08

      To date, Askismet has captured 2,280 pieces of spam in the year and a half or so that I’ve been blogging so I guess, by and large, I’ve been lucky comparatively speaking. I’d hazard a guess that I average maybe 1 or 2 pieces of spam daily overall; I could do the math but I don’t feel like it – easier to just peek at it for a second and shake my head as I click “Delete Permanently.”

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    • kdaddy23

      27 November 2011 at 15:08

      To date, Askismet has captured 2,280 pieces of spam in the year and a half or so that I’ve been blogging so I guess, by and large, I’ve been lucky comparatively speaking. I’d hazard a guess that I average maybe 1 or 2 pieces of spam daily overall; I could do the math but I don’t feel like it – easier to just peek at it for a second and shake my head as I click “Delete Permanently.”

      Like

       
  3. MyInnerMonologueRevealed

    27 November 2011 at 16:09

    This is making me rethink starting a wordpress blog. I never get spam with my blogspot… so the thinking continues.

    Like

     
    • kdaddy23

      27 November 2011 at 16:56

      WordPress isn’t a bad platform – and, at the least, they are dealing with spam for the most part so keep an open mind. I understand there’s a difference between the free version and the paid version – more tools and options – so then it’s a matter of justifying the cost and need for your own WordPress.org domain.

      Like

       

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