Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tasty blog spam with a side of "fr33 pr0n"

When I started this blog, I made several decisions about comment settings.

One was to allow anonymous comments. I realize some people might be shy about asking questions using their own names, and I’m fine with that. I also realize some people might wish to anonymously tell me I’m an asshat, and I’m fine with that, too.

The second decision was not to make blog commenters jump through the hoop of entering a word verification. These annoy the holy living crap out of me on other blogs, and at least three dozen times I’ve lost comments by navigating away before realizing I’m supposed to type ZUFfUgaG in the little box.

While I’m still committed to those two decisions, my spam comments have been increasing steadily each month. Blogger catches most of them before they ever appear in the comments section, but I still get email messages alerting me about each one.

The spam comments usually target older posts, with charming messages like these:

Willkommen und Hallo im Sexcommunity.

Hello. And Bye. fr33 pr0n this is it!

I removed the hyperlinks from those, so don’t go trying to click through for fr33 pr0n or the Sexcommunity.

One recent comment gave me pause:

Received a great trip and also a excellent encounter simply by reading the blog.

For the briefest moment, I tried to remember if I’d given away any free trips or excellent encounters on this blog. If I did, they clearly weren’t as excellent for me as they were for the commenter.

Then there are the comments in foreign languages. Blogger usually nabs those before they post, but sometimes I’ll be curious enough to plug one into a Babelfish translator.

Take this one for example:


According to Babelfish, this is the rough translation from Japanese to English:

It can sneak away from boring every day the chance which here! Various opposite sex being, being able to encounter securely from the [ru] you are not wrong! It is the [tsu] [te] rumor which also the show biz celebrity has registered in

I hope that clears things up for you.

What are your thoughts on the issue of anonymous blog comments and word verification? If you have a blog of your own, what settings do you use? Are you inundated with charming blog spam like those? Please share.

And make sure to share all your good fr33 pr0n links while you’re at it.


Sarah W said...

First comments are modified over at my place, so that takes care of the few odd comments that Wordpress doesn't zap. I have a few people on permanent modification for borderline behavior -- but it's not like Mom and Dad are going to figure that one out.

My blog isn't offered a lot of fr33 pr0n (which is too bad -- it gets lonely), but it does attract people selling software upgrades and various recreational substances.

I wonder if Interpol knows there are pipelines for Canadian Viagra ("now with Xanax!") reaching to Greece and (I assume) Russia?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what I will do if I eventually start a blog. I do know, I don't mind what others do. Before I got my google account, it was harder to comment. Even now sometimes I encounter the places where I have to do the letter verification thing. I don't mind.

If someone has something real to say, bring it on, even if you disagree with me.

If they're just spreading dischord, later for them.

Patrick Alan said...

Your underwear. I found a sock in the woods, too. Let's go pick up Juan.

Interested you would be in my wears. Let's meet. Chat you up. Grow man monster pants.

Danica Avet said...

I can't remember if I allow anonymous comments or not *goes off to check* Okay! I'm back. I require they fill out their name and an e-mail address. If they use a false name, I don't mind though.

Now for spam? I get lots of spam. Let's see...shower curtains, fishing lures, cajun spices, bachelorette party supplies (I have no idea what those would be), and today I got one saying they hadn't seen me blog in a while (I blog 5 days a week mind you) and if I don't have topics to blog about, I should go to their site.

Matthew MacNish said...

You're an asshat.

Matthew MacNish said...

Shit. That last comment was supposed to be anonymous blogger, WTH!?!

Just kidding. Personally I have WV turned off and allow anon comments. I rarely get spam. And when I do I usually publish it just for fun, especially the horribly translated stuff.

What I do, just FYI, is require Word Verification for any post that is older than 3 days. That way new posts, and Friday posts over the weekends, are easier for readers to comment on, but most of the spambots get caught white handed.

Ang said...

My own blog is set to moderate comments the first time someone posts, but once I approve, then they're clear to comment without delay on future posts. I haven't gotten any complaints, and it catches the spam. Personally, I don't mind having to type the captchas on other sites, because I realize that none of us like spam posts.

Anonymous said...

LOL! I have the word verification on mine. I've considered dropping it before.....just couldn't decide. Was worried about the big spam thing. Wordpress is pretty good about catching spam, though.

I don't get notification of the spam, it just goes into a folder, which I haven't read in a while. I might have to so I could have some fun.

Leah Petersen said...

Wordpress has a great plugin that catches spam comments. I don't think one has ever gotten through.

But occasionally I check the spam folder to see if anything legit got caught. (Happens sometimes during my 5MinuteFiction competition if the entries include brand names, for example.)

I found this little nugget in there this morning. I think the honesty's refreshing:

sender: p0rn
message: This site is really a stroll-via for all of the information you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you’ll definitely uncover it.

katedonalson said...

Too bad they didn't say fr33 prawns... who doesn't want free seafood?

Summer Frey said...

I've always had no WV, but I think I don't allow anonymous comments, and I require WV on posts older than 2 weeks. I have very, very little spam issues. Though for a few weeks I did have this one guy who was leaving this super long-ass comments about poetry and us communing together and love and all this weird stuff.

Anonymous said...

I've got word verification set on my blogs, plus lately google has been really good at filtering spammers. I don't get any junk emails or nasty comments on my blog. I'm not sure if this lessens the amount of comments I get, but I figure if someone really wants to comment to me, they'll figure out how. It's not difficult and I'm a nice welcoming blogger I am! :O)

Angela Perry said...

Cool, a geek question! I can totally contribute to this one :)

Blogger is terrible about options for filtering comments. WordPress is better, but Blogger is part of Google which is integrated everywhere so it's a toss up.

A nice compromise is to install a free comment management plugin like DISQUS or Intense Debate. They're pretty easy to set up and they give you a ton of spam filtering options, like keywords, emails, and IP address. They also "thread" comments (indent replies) which makes following a conversation easier.

Nate Wilson said...

My comment settings are the same as yours, except they're not pink. Also, they're incorporated into the page, rather than in a pop-up window.

Thankfully, I've never had a problem with spam because my blog isn't popular. In fact, I got my first one last week... and it was personalized, by an actual human person. Thank you,!

Laura Maylene said...

For my own blog (Wordpress), I do not use those word verification things. I agree that they are annoying.

I do, however, have comment moderation on. So the first time someone comments, I have to approve it before it appears on the site. After that, they can comment and it will automatically appear.

I like this route, and it's not like I have so many comments from new people that it's overwhelming. My only concern is that people might be annoyed by the little gap of time between when they comment and when it appears.

I use Akismet to catch spam and it really does a wonderful job. Since I started using it, I don't think any spam comments have gotten through.

I was debating taking down the approval requirement until I got my first nasty comment this week. (I have arrived!!) The journalist in me almost approved it, but then I decided, hell no. It's my personal blog and if someone is trying to be a jerk to me, I don't have to deal with it. I welcome disagreements or intelligent arguments and so on, but not someone just trying to an asshat for the fun of it.

Laura Maylene said...

Also, as far as your "Received a great trip and also a excellent encounter simply by reading the blog" comment, that's a very common form of spam.

In addition to all the fre33 p0rn spam I was getting, I got tons of these -- generic comments like "Your site is so great and you are so knowledgeable! My sister was right that I'd love your blog." Then, of course, there'd be a telltale link to whatever crap they are trying to sell. Unless the person's name links back to their personal blog that's in line with what I write about, these generic comments are just about always spam.

grace said...

I really only get spam comments on the blog that I haven't updated for 4+ years. I did a post on Harry Potter World that remains popular among those who use a lot of "x"s in their vocabulary.

For my current blog (wordpress), I ask people to enter an email address, so they're anonymous to everyone except me. People could fake that, I suppose, but in general I like to know who's talking to me. Like Laura above, I use the one-time moderation system. But I don't mind the CAPTCHAs, personally, for me they've just kind of been relegated to the "this is one of those things you just have to do on the internet" things.

Jason said...

I believe mine is set to allow anonymous comments and I 100% on the word verification. None of that on mine. I've lost multiple comments, some long, because of navigating away after posting but before entering the verification. Drives me insane.

I get very, very little spam...but then again, I'm sure your blog gets a crapload more hits than mine. If it were to become a problem - like deleting a bunch a day or something - I might revisit it. I don't mind deleting one or two here and there...that's an annoyance I can live with.

Maybe if my blog gets super popular I'll have to re-evaluate that. :)

Amanda Bonilla said...

I think the word of the day is asshat! ;) I have word verification on my blog for this reason. I've gotten some really nasty blog comments as well as some really mean ones. I know some people are annoyed by the word verification and I've considered turning it off and just dealing with the spam. As far as anonymous comments go, I agree that it's important to allow people to comment who might be uncomfortable otherwise. I've seen some very good, heartfelt responses from anonymous commenters.

Steph Schmidt said...

I let my blog run free with anonymous allowed and no word verification on comments. But any post older than a week has to get approved by me. Only had one spam comment and it was when I had word verification on! So I figure if captcha can't catch them all why irk people?

Strangely it is my email that gets the most spam from software people wanting a review pretending it'll be related somehow to my blog. They get a giant delete as a reply.

Sage Ravenwood said...

After old post getting spammed to death by porn (anon). I decided to do away with the Anonymous choice. If someone wants to leave a comment, I'd rather a name - kind of a stand by your words view. (Hugs)Indigo

Laina said...

I do have the anon turned on. I also have comment moderation on posts older than two weeks, and I've closed comments on one or two posts that got spammed to death. Like daily spam comments. The rest, blogger can catch. Oh, and I get a TON of Russian/Cryllic spam.

Kadi Easley said...

I think I allow anon comments, but I've never had one. I have word verification turned on. I know it's a pain, but when I was working crazy hours, the time it took to go through and delete the spam was minutes I needed for sleep. Now I've gotten away from my blog so I could probably safely turn it off, just haven't gotten around to it.

I used to get lots and lots of Russian comments. When I translated them they read like actual comments, so I let them stay, then I did a blog post thanking all my Russian readers and posted it in Russian. I haven't gotten a comment in Russian since. I must have scared them away.

lora96 said...

I mood swing on this one. While I capital-letters HATE the word verifications, I do not enjoy screening out the heartwarming and generous anonymous readers who wish only to enlarge my evidently unsatisfactory penis.

I delete those. So if your manhood is lacking in length, look elsewhere. I can't help you.

Anonymous said...

Hm. I'm not even popular enough to get spam. :p


I don't know what my settings are to be honest.

Larissa said...

LMAO - I've gotten the notifications for a bunch of those, because when I reply here, I usually turn notification on.

I agree that the word verification is annoying, especially if it comes up AFTER you hit publish. The ones where you can see the captcha before that aren't as bad.


Elizabeth Flora Ross said...

I would have no problem saying you're an asshat, if you were! LOL I used to require word verification, but recently turned it off. I now use Intense Debate on my blog. It enables me to reply to each comment individually (directly below each comment), and sends the commenter an email notification when I do so. I think it is much more personal, and I like it a lot. I'm not sure if it allows people to comment anonymously or not. I'll have to look into that.

Unknown said...

Yes this is one of the drawbacks from blogging. It's amazing what spammers think they can do with your blog.

I've had some great comments that I'ce had to delete because spam got mixed up with it.

Not sure what the answer is. I hope Blogger can keep improving it.

Janet Reid said...

Man oh man, I learned the hard way to engage comment moderation on both my blogs. I don't mind people calling me an asshat (well, ok, I do, but I'm used to it by now) it was people describing other commenters as asshats that wasn't working.

I also figure that if someone doesn't want to use their real name, they have to go to a bit more trouble than simply being anonymous. Create a blog comment name and use it.

So, I have moderation engaged, but not word verification.

And I still get offers to sneak a peak at TawnaFenske's hot photos (that's what MY translation of the Chinese spam says anyway) but I call that a perk of the job, not spam.

Tatum Flynn said...

I actually LIKE the word verification words, they're always so interesting, they get my writer's brain whirring :)

Picking up Women said...

Then there are the comments in foreign languages.

Picking up Women said...

These annoy the holy living crap out of me on other blogs, and at least three dozen times I’ve lost comments by navigating away before realizing I’m supposed to type ZUFfUgaG in the little box.