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February 15th, 2009

I’m having a hard time trying to figure out if I am getting a new form of spam, or if something else is happening. Suddenly, on a variety of old posts, I am getting comments which are suspiciously like spam, but not exactly.

The new wave of comments look like spam for several reasons. First, they are short–just a sentence or two. Second, they end with a common spam technique, which is to give the blogger a compliment. Third, they are hitting specific blog posts, some of which have been targeted for spam before; just in the past week, one post from a year and a half ago, dealing with spambots, has gotten two such comments, and previously several spam attempts were made on that one post (posts about spam are commonly targets).

However, the new comments deviate from past spam attempts in that they contain content which seems specifically in response to the blog post content. It could mean they’re legitimate, but it could also mean that the spammers have better AI in their software and/or are getting better at making their spam content-specific.

A few of these comments do not contain specific sites to link back to, but I’ve seen that before in blog comment spam, and I have always expected spammers to leave legit comments so as to get on a spam whitelist so they won’t get moderated the next time.

Finally, when these new comments do carry a link to a site, it is usually to a site which looks like a legitimate blog or something–but when you look carefully enough, there are commercial parts of the site, and links to commercial sites. Nevertheless, these sites could be private endeavors, which just happen to have a little selling on the side to make it worthwhile for the operators.

However, the fact that a variety of this type of comment suddenly started arriving and looks enough like spam to raise some flags has me concerned.

Has anyone else running a blog started getting comments like these in the past week or two? Or perhaps earlier (and they just found my site recently)?

Until I get this figured out, I’m going for a compromise: I’ll post the comments, but delete any links contained.

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  1. Paul
    February 16th, 2009 at 07:40 | #1

    I’ve seen those, and yes, it seems like there’s been a rise in them over the past few months. Fortunately, Akismet does an incredibly good job of filtering spam.

    My FAA Follies blog gets decent business- 1200 hits a day or so. It probably averages 15 comments on each post; some rack up dozens, others two or three. I almost never see any spam actually make it through the filters. Then again, I only allow a single link in a comment; any more and they’re held by the software for review.

    I think stripping the links is a good compromise. You can also email to the addresses in question to see if anyone answers.

  2. February 2nd, 2010 at 05:53 | #2

    my eyelid is twitching and i once read in a book that the indians said it ment you were going to recive a surprise. Dont know if it is a good one or a bad one but the webmd said its from stress i belive the webmd even though i belive it could be both who knows

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