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December 11, 2006

It's the Little Victories That Mean the Most

Happiness is: Finding the common element in the hundreds of spam comment messages one has been getting, popping it into the spam filter, and watching dozens of subsequent spam messages fail spectacularly. That'll make me happy for days, or until the spammers figure out a workaround.

Posted by john at December 11, 2006 10:38 AM

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Cassie | December 11, 2006 11:08 AM

I had no idea it took so little to make you happy.

John Scalzi | December 11, 2006 11:14 AM

Well, inasmuch as I had to clear out 400 comment spams this morning, it's not that little.

Dr. Phil | December 11, 2006 11:14 AM

Nothin' says lovin' like Spam warmed over...

Dr. Phil

Eddie | December 11, 2006 11:15 AM

I noticed you were still getting hit pretty bad when I checked the threads early this morning.

Glad you were able to deal a little spam-death.

Most of the comment spam seems totally random and pointless.Why do they do it?

John Scalzi | December 11, 2006 11:18 AM

Comment spam has little to do with the content and everything to do with the link back. They're using the links in the comment and in the name field to raise their Google rankings. It's all complicated and stupid.

Steve Buchheit | December 11, 2006 11:38 AM

But mostly stupid.

Hmmm, warmed up spam.

Cassie | December 11, 2006 11:45 AM

400? No wonder you're happy.

Tripp | December 11, 2006 11:47 AM

Something common to all spam and not regular comments, eh?

Hmmmmmmm. My first guesses would be character encoding or containing an image file.

Jon Marcus | December 11, 2006 01:14 PM


"...a little spam-death..."

la petite spam morte? Err...no, I really don't think I want to think about that any more. I'll leave that to everyone whose mind I just polluted with that imagery.

MWT | December 11, 2006 04:50 PM

Is Google doing anything to help combat all this spam? Like, I dunno, trying to track which ones get deleted for being spam, and then blacklisting them from rankings considerations, or somesuch.

John Scalzi | December 11, 2006 04:54 PM

I'm not entirely sure how Google would do that on anything other then Blogger, which they own.

Audrey Estock | December 11, 2006 07:41 PM

Jon Marcus:

"I'll leave that to everyone whose mind I just polluted with that imagery."

...Gee, thanks. Now I feel compelled to doodle something. Ugh.

MWT | December 12, 2006 11:02 AM

Well, it's their rankings that seem to be causing a lot of it. Can they really, in good conscience, sit there and do nothing?

(I'm not sure I want to know the answer to that...)

Scorpio | December 12, 2006 05:04 PM

But see, getting a herd of message spam is a measure of your popularity. I hardly get any. I get more trackback spam, more meaning one or two a month -- and I have figured out how to stop trackback spam from repeat postings, finally.

Bookninja | December 12, 2006 09:09 PM

The rankings themselves don't cause problems, but people trying to manipulate the rankings. Michael Specter wrote a nice piece about how Google works (which isn't all that complex in principle), just type "michael specter google" into Google to find the article "Search and Deploy".

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