Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Those Cheeky Comment-Spam Sploggin' Monkeys!

At some point or another, we all get zapped by spam comments. For some folks, spam comments come in at such a fast and furious rate (because they're programmed by bots) that they have to shut off their blog comments. When I started to notice spam comments coming in, I added word verification to the email notifications I already receive for blog comments.

The word verification seems to have slowed the nonsense down--but not stopped it. Now, the comment-spammer monkeys have taken it one cheeky step further. The comment I got this a.m. has been deleted from the entry where it appeared, but since I get email verification, I still have the text, left by one "NonToxic Chuck":
I've had this same thought. I wonder about the Michell Malkins and other of the blogger world. Especially, those who blog about terrorist subjects. That would create a great deal of anxiety for me. They are very brave to tell the truth in their blogs.

One fellow, I think he was the webmaster at iraqthemodel (?) was killed. He was doing his blogging from Iraq.

What makes this monkey possibly one of the cheekiest is that the comment seems to actually have a bit of thought. Even though Michelle Malkin's name is spelled wrong, that could be considered a common mistake, along with leaving the "s" off of "other" (for "others"). And the second paragraph alludes to iraqthemodel, which is a real conservative blogspot blog that's part of Pajamas Media.

NonToxic Chuck even has a profile (only 16 or so views though). So, at first glance, it appears that the comment is from a real live person.

Correction: real-life comment spammer who wants to lead us back to his splog.

There are two dead-giveaways that this is comment-spam from a splogger. First, the post was recorded on an entry from a year ago, that had absolutely nothing to do with the context of the comment. The post simply had the word "terrorism" in it, but nothing in the content of the post discusses political terrorism in relation to the war in Iraq or conservative politics--so the post was targeted by a bot.

All I could think was "Jeebus! ain't this rich."

The second key is in the word that is in bold in that paragraph, which, in the original text, was a hyperlink that lead to a splog. How did I know it was a splog? Well, it had one article, a reprint with a hyperlink to the original article, but no "about" page, and no links to other blogs. There were links to other pages but no content. What there was, aside from one article in very large print, were lots and lost of Google Adsense ads relating to anxiety relief.

Lots of ads with a bunch of content that's either cribbed from someone else or makes no sense is a sure sign of a splog.

What's the deal? Does this jerk think he's going to make good money off his splog? and how can we stop these idiots?

Sure, I could report them to Google Adsense, and I could flag the blog (as it was a blogspot blog.) But that seems to do virtually nothing.

So, not only is my content being stolen by sploggers, but I'm getting harassed by sploggers who think they're actually smart enough to leave comments that won't be taken for spam. Wow. Just like living in a bad neighborhood. And I don't even have to leave the house to get the flavor....

Update 9/27/06: Businessweek documents some of the major problems ofclickfraud spawned by splog

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