Comment Spammers are Nuggets

Album Cover: It's Not Me, It's You

"I'm not a saint, but I'm not a sinner...everything's cool as long as I'm getting thinner."
Lily Allen / The Fear

Posted on September 30, 2005 1:10 AM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Why are comment spammers so stupid? It's gotten to the point where I'm no longer depressed about it and can actually muster a chuckle or two when I see spam slip through the cracks.

Can't these people come up with anything unique or creative? Does it always have to be either "phentermine" or "online/internet casinos?" What is up with that? I just want to get these nuggets in a room and play dodgeball with them. Seriously. They're so dumb.

What, you need proof? Take a look at the latest culprit to hit my site:

Hello, I'm astonished! Actually I'm working in gambling thematic internet casino ( ) and not really understand everything, that is discussed here, but, anyway it was really interesting to read everything here. Thanks for pleasure I've got while visiting your site.

And of course the original is peppered with links to God knows where, simply to try and get some old fashioned lovin' from the Google Bot.

Typically these types of spam get removed from my blog in a matter of hours, and incidentally they've become much easier to track given the new "Recent Comments" section of my site's subheader. However, I've decided to leave this one around just 'cause it's so obnoxious and absurd. I added the rel="nofollow" attribute to the outgoing links (as Google suggests) to, in effect, neuter its sole purpose in life and yet still preserve it for mockery's sake.

"Thanks for pleasure I've got while visiting your site?" No, really, the pleasure is all mine.


Ryan on September 30, 2005 at 9:43 AM:

Like Chris of Passive Digressive, I have chosen not to use te rel=nofollow attribute of links. Some good reasons out outlined in this post. Also, unlink my initial impressions, the Wordpress 1.5 comment spam filter is actaully pretty good. I may still re-add the I am human checkbox, but that would be just to cut down on the nubmer of comments I have to mark as spam, and not to actually stop anything from getting through - which it hasn't yet.

The way I believe WP1.5 comment spam prevention works is whitelisting any eail address that already has an approved comment. Everything else goes silently into moderation.


Bernie Zimmermann on September 30, 2005 at 6:12 PM:

Ryan, when I mentioned adding the rel="nofollow" attribute, I was speaking about that one specific comment in particular, not all outgoing links in my site's comments sections. I agree that that approach is unfair to visitors and (if they happen to know about it) may discourage them from commenting.

Over at my Coldplay site, I've taken the liberty of disallowing any comments that include links, simply because that site was being hit so hard (and outgoing links aren't as important to me there anyway). However, at this site I continue to allow people to post links at free will, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

Incidentally (my word of the week), I recently posted a link to my B-Sides detailing a fairly successful approach to blocking comment spam.


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