Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A new front opens in the spam wars

An interesting wrinkle has developed in the ongoing war against comment spam. Spammers have started doing something that I actually suggested they do. Unfortunately they did not follow my suggestion to kill themselves in a painful in gruesome manner. What at least some of them have started doing, however, is to post actual, real comments that are relevant to the post and the only link to their commercial site is in their ID, not in the message itself.

I'm actually slightly conflicted about this. The person(s) responsible are clearly taking the time to write individual comments that are direct responses to the posts in question . They aren't making generic comments and spamming thousands of blogs with them and they aren't filling the comments with URLs and meaningless crap. They are essentially making legitimate comments.

But they're fucking spammers.

I actually deleted these comments after deliberating for a short while. The thing that tipped me towards deleting them is that the comments were made to months old posts which reeks of trying to hide them. They seem to think that if they post comments to old blog posts I'll miss them. They clearly don't understand that I get notifications of every comment. I'm not Robert Scoble getting hundreds of comments a day - I get maybe tens of comments on a good day so I have time to look at them all.

So here's the deal spammers: you're halfway there. Making legitimate comments as a way to promote your commercial ventures is fine, but don't try to hide them from me. It won't work and I'll delete your comment so no hyperlink for you! BUT... if you make legitimate comments to CURRENT posts I'll leave them up - links to your site (in your ID) and all.

Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age.

No comments: