How To Stop Blog Comment Spammers, the Parasites Of Our Digital Ecosystem

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Blog comment spam, oh, how it infuriates me! These digital pests seem to have no regard for the sanctity of website owners' properties and the hard work that goes into maintaining a blog or website. It's high time we had a good, long rant about these disrespectful individuals and the havoc they wreak.

Blogging has become an integral part of online communication and content sharing. However, along with the countless benefits of engaging with your audience through blog comments, comes the constant battle against comment spam. If left unchecked, spammy comments can overwhelm your platform and detract from the quality of your content.

Comment spam refers to irrelevant, inappropriate, or promotional comments left on blog posts with the intention of manipulating search engines, redirecting traffic, or simply causing disruption.

These worthless, junk and pointless selfish comments often contain links to suspicious websites or irrelevant content, and they can quickly tarnish your blog's reputation and user experience.

First and foremost, blog comment spammers are nothing short of parasites in the digital ecosystem. Website owners invest their time, effort, and sometimes even money to create valuable content for their readers. They pour their hearts and souls into providing informative articles, engaging stories, and insightful opinions.

The comments section is meant to foster genuine discussion, provide feedback, or share relevant insights. It's a space for readers to connect with the author and other readers. But what do these spammers do? They exploit it for their selfish gains.

These comment spammers bombard websites with irrelevant, often nonsensical, and sometimes offensive comments. They use automated bots to mass-post links to dubious websites, promote shady products, and even spread malware.

All of this is done with a complete disregard for the website owner's intentions. It's as if they've declared open war on the integrity and purpose of a blog's comments section.

What's worse, these spammers seem to have zero understanding of the "nofollow" attribute or the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They believe that by leaving links to their spammy sites, they'll somehow boost their own rankings.

Little do their tiny pee brains realize that Google and other search engines are smarter than that. Their actions can lead to penalties for the website they're spamming, not to mention the fact that they're wasting the website owner's time as they have to constantly sift through and delete these worthless comments.

The audacity of blog comment spammers knows no bounds

The audacity of blog comment spammers knows no bounds. They often use pseudonyms or aliases to hide behind their digital masks, making it difficult for website owners to identify and block them effectively.

Their comments range from generic flattery to incoherent gibberish, all in an attempt to slip past comment moderation and onto the website for unsuspecting readers to stumble upon.

But the disrespect doesn't stop at the content of their comments; it extends to the very act of spamming. It's akin to defacing someone else's property. Imagine someone painting graffiti on the walls of your home or littering your garden with flyers for dubious products. Blog comment spammers are essentially doing the same thing, just in the digital realm.

Not to mention the additional burden they place on website owners. Website administrators must invest time and resources into implementing spam filters, captcha systems, and comment moderation to keep these vermin at bay.

The History Of Blog & Internet Spam

On May 1, 1978, Gary Thuerk, an ambitious marketing professional working at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), had the idea to inform Arpanet researchers on the west coast about DEC's successful integration of the network's protocols into the company's DEC-20 and TOPS-20 operating systems.

To do so, Thuerk obtained a printed list of Arpanet email addresses, handed it to a secretary, and asked her to send the message using the SNDMSG email program. As noted by John Naughton in The Guardian, the message contained the following excerpt:

"Digital will be presenting the latest additions to the DECsystem-20 family: the DECsystem-2020, 2020T, 2060, and 2060T. These computers have evolved from the Tenex operating system and the DECsystem-10 (PDP-10) architecture.

"Both the DECsystem-2060T and 2020T offer complete Arpanet support under the Tops-20 operating system. We invite you to join us for product presentations in California this month to learn more about the DECsystem-20 family."

The reaction to this message was predominantly negative. First, it violated Arpanet regulations that prohibited commercial use of the network.

Additionally, the message was typed in all capital letters, a practice considered as shouting in cyberspace. According to Brad Templeton, who has documented this story extensively, a user from the University of Utah even complained that the spam had caused his computer system to crash.

Effective Strategies to Combat Blog Comment Spam

Learn how to safeguard your blog from intrusive comment spam and maintain a clean and engaging online environment

The Rising Threat of Blog Comment Spam

Here's how to fight back:

  1. Enable Comment Moderation

    One of the most effective ways to prevent spam is by enabling comment moderation. This feature allows you to review and approve or reject comments before they appear on your blog.

    While it may require extra effort, it offers you full control over what gets published on your site. Most blogging platforms have built-in moderation tools, but you can also use third-party plugins for added flexibility.

  2. Implement CAPTCHA or ReCAPTCHA

    CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) and ReCAPTCHA are security features that challenge users to prove they are human by solving puzzles or recognizing images.

  3. Use Anti-Spam Plugins

    Many popular blogging platforms offer anti-spam plugins, such as Akismet and CleanTalk for WordPress. These plugins use algorithms to detect and filter out spam comments automatically.

    While they may occasionally flag legitimate comments as spam, they significantly reduce the volume of unwanted content.

  4. Disable HTML in Comments

    Spammers often insert links and code in comments to promote their own websites or products. Disabling HTML in comments can thwart this tactic. Check your blogging platform's settings to restrict HTML in comments and prevent unwanted links.

  5. Set Commenting Rules

    Establish clear and concise commenting rules for your blog. Make it known that irrelevant or promotional comments will not be tolerated. Encourage your readers to report any suspicious or spammy comments they encounter, and be sure to follow up on these reports promptly.

  6. Utilize a Comment Blacklist

    You can create a comment blacklist that filters out comments containing specific keywords, URLs, or email addresses commonly used by spammers. Regularly update this list to stay ahead of evolving spam tactics.

  7. Regularly Update Your Blogging Software

    Outdated software is more vulnerable to security breaches. Ensure that your blogging platform, as well as any plugins or themes you use, are up-to-date to benefit from the latest security enhancements and features designed to combat spam.

  8. Monitor User Engagement

    Regularly monitor your blog's comment section and engage with your audience. Active participation can deter spammers, as they tend to target less-moderated or abandoned blogs. By actively managing your comments, you show that you care about your online community and its quality.

What being spammed feels like for a webmaster.

So here it is, Imagin someone walking into your home un-announced, they then proceed to stand on your kitchen table, pull their pants down, take a massive dump of sludge complete with peanuts, corn cornels and diarrhea. Then, after they complete their anal purge, they proceed to walk over to your refrigerator, take a beer, crack it open and then just waltz on out.

So, to all you blog comment spammers out there, please understand that website owners pour their hearts and souls into their work, and they deserve respect.

The comments section is a sacred space for meaningful interactions, not a dumping ground for your spammy links. Your actions are not only disrespectful, but they also harm the online community as a whole.

If you are going to comment on a post or content, then read the content, understand the content and then leave something meaningful or valuable behind.

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