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Content Specific Comment Spam

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Dealing with comment spam is getting harder and harder, even BloggingPro has taken a hit or two lately by various spamming methods, and we use Akismet here.

Lorelle goes over some interesting content specific spam that she has recieved lately.

These new comment spammers look for related keywords and post a vague but specific comment related to the keywords. A careful check of the URL/address of the website shows that it links to a splog or commercial website. So the URL is the only clue that this comment is comment spam.

I had several comments that asked me specifically about how hard WordPress was to install, questions on PHP code on articles with PHP code, and about whether or not they thought they should give WordPress a try compared to other blogging platforms.

These sound legitimate, don’t they. After all, I’ve written extensively about these topics here and on other of my sites. I even responded to two of them before I noticed the URL and checked them out.

One led to a splog with possibly stolen articles (possibly from feeds) with extensive writing on the topic of blogging, which was definitely more technically advanced and aware than the simple question they asked in my comments.

It looks like the battle has just begun, so if you have any ideas on improving anti-spam techniques, create a plugin for WordPress to help us out, or contact the Automattic team and let them know your ideas because we can use all the help we can get to fight this problem.

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Comments

  1. Elliott Back says: 8/15/2006

    An interesting spam technique might be to troll for posts with lots of comments, analyze the frequency and order of words in, say, n3 to n5 grams, and generate a random, but sensible comment from that.

    Reply

  2. Lorelle says: 8/15/2006

    Remember when email spam started including your name and web page title and URL? This harvesting technique must go into checking key phrases with spam bots.

    I know that Bad Behavior works well to stop comment spammers at the door, and that is probably the most effective means. Stop them before they even get a chance to post.

    Last year, they were grabbing parts of our posts and using those in the comments, too.

    As for this new spamming technique, honestly, I thought these were legit but something kept bothering me about them. I just got another one today, and it was very specific but clearly self-promotional by the URL and email.

    Just a thought but could these be from actual hired people and not just bots? They are so…intelligent in their responses. And very specific. Today’s was on a post featuring a recipe and it highlighted an ingredient. There are people who will do anything for money, and I know that there have been people spammers who attack wikis (the Codex has a history of problems with this), so fighting off human comment spammers might be even harder.

    Good luck and I hope we find a solution to this. I’ll help as much as I can.

    Reply

  3. Justin says: 8/15/2006

    There is always bannage! Although I have some bugs to work out.

    Reply

  4. 0dot says: 8/16/2006

    thanks

    Reply

  5. Greg Kiernan says: 8/17/2006

    It certainly is getting more difficult to seperate the good comments from the spam, only the url is a giveaway at this stage. For some reason while the comments are harder to spot, the comment spammers aren’t picking more sensible urls that aren’t such a giveaway but i am sure that is not far away!

    Reply

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    Reply

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    Reply

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