Comment Spam Theories

By Deane Barker on May 30, 2006

Reader feedback on bizarre no-link spam: A while back, Mark over at Boing Boing posted about some odd spam comments he’d seen that had no URL. If there’s no URL, why post the spam? In the last week, several readers have approached him with theories. Some of them are interesting.

I’ve found that many times innocuous-looking comments with no url are used to sneak past sophisticated blog-spamfilters […]. Many of these filters give a ‘karmic boost’ to commenters who already have one approved comment. By not posting any links at all, they have a better chance of getting their foot in the door […]

[…] If the spammer […] can attribute these numbers to a particular blog or email address, they can see which sites are ‘hot ones’.

I’ve long suspected that spam is (or could be) used by spies or (more likely) terrorist cells. There is so much NOISE in email, it’s the perfect place to hide SIGNAL.

Thanks to Akismet we’re almost spam-free these days.

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Comments

  1. I’ve long suspected that spam is (or could be) used by spies or (more likely) terrorist cells. There is so much NOISE in email, it’s the perfect place to hide SIGNAL.

    Mission Impossible IV, anyone?

  2. You’re not lying. Akismet is the best WP plugin, ever. It blocks about 3-400 spam comments a day on FreshArrival. The few that do slip by Akismet are stopped by the blog moderation settings, and I just take care of those manually. Not one spam comment has made it to any page on FA yet. Amazing.

  3. hi… i thought “spam” was just for unsolicited e-mails. what’s the effect if say… a guy post a comment and included 3 links on it? how can it hurt the website? can it be harmful eventhough nobody clicks on the links?

    you guys sound like you know the answers… pardon the ignorance :-)

  4. ignore earlier comment god i was failing to think when i posted that

    obviously it hurts a> your visitors may follow said links and pickup malware or worse buy the product {thus encouraging the practice} b> search engines index the links and obviously it throws their rating off {or destroys your rep by having lots of links to spammy content}

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