Monday, February 05, 2007

Spam Developments

Some readers may remember a while ago that I promised spammers if they left genuine comments on my blog I would leave the link to their commercial site in place. I received several dire warnings that I was inviting a flood of spam but I wasn't worried. The first reason I wasn't worried is that I was confident that the vast majority of spam is launched by bots, so they are capable of responding to my offer.

The second reason is I have no problem with going back on a deal I offer to spammers. Spammers are the scum of the fucking earth. If I received floods of spam that complied with my terms I'd simply delete it anyway. Fuck spammers. So anyway, what was the result of my offer?

Totals valid comments submitted by spammers = 0.

Actually, there might have been one, I'm not sure. It was a very good comment and it did link to a site that was commercial in nature but that doesn't make the commenter by definition a spammer. If it had linked to a porn site or a Viagra site I'd probably assume it was a spammer. An addendum for porn site operators: if you were actually offering decent porn I'd probably leave your link in place.

I have noticed two interesting variables in the spam wars outside of this. One was a tactic that got past Akismet two or three times - leaving a comment spam that lamented how much comment spam my site was subjected to! This spammer at least deserves points for their appreciation of irony.

The second thing is that in the last week, the number of comment spam being reported by Akismet has slowed from a flood of hundreds a day to a tiny trickle. Sometimes as few as three comment spam in a day. I have no idea what is behind this. There are a lot of possibilities but the most likely one is that Wordpress (or someone else) are blocking them at the server level. If that's the case, good on you!

In the meantime, I continue to lobby governments around the world to impose the death penalty for spamming. I continue to be disappointed with the results. The only positive responses I have received are from several African countries. I don't know if I should associate with them - they keep asking for my bank account details so they can deposit large sums of money.

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