Fight Comment Spam

In my last post I gave three suggestions on how to fight blog and email spam. However, we know that spammers can get pretty creative, thus managing to escape anti-spam software. If you are moderating comments here are some tips on how to spot more intelligent spam. 1. Look at the alias/name used – If the name contains keywords then it’s spam. It may not be automated spam but still their real motive in commenting is to get link juice and not really to contribute something of value to the discussion. Generic names can also be a sign of spam but I usually give them the benefit of a doubt unless they also exhibit other signs like those listed below. 2. Generic comments – Comments like “Nice post” and other such appreciative but totally non-specific and valueless comments are usually from spammers. In hopes that flattery will work (and they do in many cases) spammers leave such comments so that some moderators have even responded favourably to such comments. I too even did many times in the past before I realized how stupid I was for falling for the spammers’ game. 3. IP addresses – Look at the IP addresses. If you get multiple comments from one IP address with different comments and/or alias/name used then it is a clear sign that comments from that IP address are spam. 4. Link dropping – Link within the comment body is also a sign of spam. However, make sure you read the comment because there are some cases when providing a link is ok, especially when it adds value to the discussion. What I do if the comment doesn’t look like spam other than the existence of the link is simply deleting the link.