On Reviewing Comment Spam

I’ve spent the last hour going through recent comment spam.

Most every blog is subject to comment spam in some form or another. Basically, rogue computers will try and place random comments on blogs that have little, if anything, to do with the post they’re commenting on. The comments will then link back to some product they’re selling. The goal is to increase Google page-rank, on the hope that the person hosting the blog won’t notice.

Closed systems, like LiveJournal, aren’t really subject to comment spam.

Open systems, like WordPress, are.

The spam-trapping plug-in I use here is pretty damned effective at catching the spam. But I still need to go through every few days and make sure that something legitimate wasn’t labelled as spam.

I’m used to things like comment spams for mortgage refinancing, erectile dysfunction pills, and World of WarCraft gold and item farming. And then there’s the gobbleygoop that gets sent out, to try and confuse the spam filters. These are things you expect.

But since recent posts on LEGO Doctor Who, a good third of my comment spam is about…

LEGO.

Yes, there are people out there spamming about LEGO.

For instance, a person named “Instructions on how to make Lego Star Wars” posted the following: “My boy loves duplo but is keen to get his hands on the latest Lego model.” Yes, that was the name that was entered — Instructions on how to make Lego Star Wars.

Or, here’s another. “Star Wars Legos the Game” writes, “I love Lego. Thanks for the post.”

This seems to be a new trend in comment spam — create an innocuous message without links, and then link, if possible, in the website field. You’d think, though, that the spambots would be programmed not to have such bog-stupid names like “Star Wars Legos the Game.” The goal should be to look completely normal; I don’t know anyone named “Star Wars Legos the Game.” ;)

I’ve gone and blocked that IP, by the way. Those LEGO spams? They came from a computer in Dallas. There’s a computer in Atlanta that likes sending comment spams as “Vanna White.” (That one’s actually rather persistent.)

I keep hoping I’ll find something genius in the comment spam. Like millions of monkeys pounding at the keyboard, someday something brilliant will come our way.

It hasn’t happened yet.

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