The Height of Insidiousness

On January 19 I did a short post titled I am so ready to get rid of these. It was about blog spammers winning the war against WordPress’s Akismet spam filter. What enraged me most is that if a comment gets pass Akismet, it is clever enough that it requires scrutiny by a real human (me) to determine if it is genuine or not. And even if 9 times out of 10 it’s spam, that 10th time it might be from someone whose comment I really value. I summed up the dilemma this way, “That’s the reason I don’t turn off comments altogether — the value of the real comments outweighs the hassle of the spam.”

Now the spammers have a new tactic that makes me completely blow a gasket. Yesterday I received a comment to the very same I am so ready to get rid of these post that consisted of one line:

That’s also the reason I don’t turn off comments altogether — the value of the real comments outweighs the hassle of the spam.

I literally had my mouse cursor poised over the “Approve” button because my first reaction was, “Right on — I agree with that comment completely!”

And then I had a tiny flicker of deja-vu…

…where had I seen that phrase before…?


I looked closer and saw that in fact I had 3 comments in a row on 3 different posts, all from “Patriots Jersey” and all using this “quote from the post” technique.

It’s so simple and clever I’m surprised I haven’t seen it before (for all I know it’s been around for ages and I’m just seeing it for the first time). But it completely fried my gourd, because thousands of real bloggers might be fooled into approving these comments the same way their blog spam filter was fooled into accepting them.

For me it was even more validation why we need move to higher level reputation systems  based on real people and real trust relationships, not machine algorithms. That, in a nutshell, is why I’ve been working on Connect.Me and the Respect Trust Framework for the past year.

More on how this can help fight blog spam coming soon.


About Drummond Reed

Internet entrepreneur in identity, personal data, and governance frameworks
This entry was posted in Blogging, Connect.Me, Spam. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Height of Insidiousness

  1. Mike says:

    Stop Spam by any means possible

    After a few recent posts on spam I had a blithering idiot trying to tell me spam ‘is not so bad’. Not on my own articles – the moron didn’t want to use one of his identities to login and ‘give me permission to post on his profile’, but on comments on another bloggers article which referred to one of mine.

    Another comment likened blocking spam by any means possible to anti-social acts of violence… I ask you!

    At least after disabling guest commenting I get much less spam.

    And now the latest spam thing – Spam Blog Posts… Readomatic is currently full of rubbish articles promoting kindle accessories – which appear to be the same organisation using several blogs to promote their Amazon product listings.

    WordPress really should put a stop to this kind of abuse of their service.

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