Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Why I Am Now Moderating Comments to This Blog

About a year ago, I got an email from someone (I forget the name he used) asking me to insert a link into one of my posts in exchange for over a hundred dollars. The link was to one of these places that lends out money before payday. The business sounded legal enough – I understand that there are places like these all over the US – and I looked up the site. It appeared well-kept and above-board, but I still felt uncomfortable. The whole thing just felt fishy, and it felt even fishier when I saw that the person who got in touch with me was using a fake name. (I don’t remember the name now, but it was unusual, and when I looked it up, it turned out to be the name of an obscure American figure from the Civil War era.) I explained that I was not comfortable accepting money from someone I didn’t know, and I asked him for his real name and location. I never heard from him again.

Well, now the tactic is a bit different. First there was the guy who left a marginally-relevant comment whose obvious goal was to drive traffic to his site, which is actually about a topic I like, but it’s still a trashy content farm. That was a day or two ago. Then there was the shameless spammer who left a comment on the post that I wrote about my teacher, Miss Jurist, mentioning her by name and saying how fondly he remembered her classes... and leaving a link to some SEO site. Pretty low, if you ask me.

So I᾿ve had to lock the door and use the peephole before I allow anyone inside. In other words, comments are now moderated. I don’t like it. I wish I didn’t have to do it. But spammers are slime, and their techniques are getting a bit more sophisticated – fortunately, not so sophisticated that I can’t protect myself.

1 comment:

  1. Completely understand. I use WV on my site after I started getting spammed. I use sitemeter to count my (sadly very low these days) traffic. Several times a day I get his from Mountain View, Ca. I thought "wow, I have a fan who cant get enough". Then I noticed repeat hits on obscure posts. Using googlebot they scan blogs for keywords. 'Cat', 'dog', 'pet', 'money', &ct. Then an auto-generated comment gets sent to that post. usually something along the lines of:
    "Great post! I really enjoied that. I feel the same way about (insert keyword here) but what you should really do is click over to www.i'mabigdamnscam and..."
    There isn't even a person doing it anymore. It's all automatic. sigh.
    Oh, I popped over here from elisson's place. Not selling anything or driving traffic. Just commenting. Cheers!


Comments are moderated. If you're a spammer, don't waste your keystrokes. If you're a real, honest-to-goodness commenter, welcome!