Today’s post (8/13/2020) is about Spam comments … How to deal with them, or at least how I’m dealing with them?
If you run or write a blog, you’re very familiar with what a pain in the rear it is to deal with the unrelenting wave of spam comments that get posted into the comments section of your blog(s).
A few months back, when I first started seeing an increase in spam comments on my blog, I purchased a one year subscription to a WordPress Anti-Spam Plug-in called Akismet. I think it cost me about $36 for the annual subscription. Akismet essentially diverts almost all incoming comments into a spam folder, which is great because it keeps those spam comments from ever seeing the light of day on your blog. This is really important since some of the commenters are advertising and selling very ugly things like child pornography. The con or downside to Akismet is that almost all the legitimate comments also get dumped into that same spam folder. Then it becomes incumbent upon the blog administrator to sift through all the comments and sort out the legitimate comments, from readers expressing their likes, dislikes, concerns and questions regarding the blog and its content, from the spam comments.
Now the spammers aren’t fools; many of them have figured out that they can improve their chances of getting their comments (and consequently their weblinks) being accepted by the Blog Administrator if they include (1) laudatory comments about the blog or the blogger; (2) give constructive criticism on improving the blog; (3) report errors they encountered with the blog; and (4) they ask for help or advice in resolving a real or fabricated issue they’re dealing with on their own website. All of the preceding comment themes make it extremely difficult for the Blog Administrator to weed out the legitimate comments from the spam ones …because they all could be legitimate comments!
So, as my own Blog Administrator, I look at these suspect comments with a jaded eye and I look at four things:
First, I see if their linked website tells me anything about them. Oddly, 80% of my comments are coming from online casinos, escort services, betting websites, and wealth management websites. That’s not to say that these folks may indeed be legitimate readers of the blog; but my Spidey-senses think maybe not??
Second, I look at their online IDs. When their online ID is “Gay Furry Porn” there’s a strong likelihood that they’re posting comments solely to draw traffic to their website.
Third, I look at the content of their comment; spammers tend to use the same texted comments, switching up an occasional adjective or greeting once in a while, but generally it’s a wrote template of text you’ll see used over and over again in comments.
Fourth, and this is the hard one, I look at the grammar and spelling. This is a hard one to judge because for many commenters, English is not their primary language and it’s quite possible that their comments were jumbled up by the online language translator they used when commenting.
Now, there is another significant Non-Spam factor that the Blog Administrator also needs to consider when reviewing and approving blog comments: If you use a subscription newsletter plug-in (app) that notifies your subscribed readers, who elected to be notified every time a new comment is added to your blog, you will definitely need to become more selective in which comments (spam and legitimate) that you approve for your blog. Your blog subscribers will quickly tire after the fifth email in their inbox which praises the blog but adds little value to the concept or content of the blog, or for that matter to the readers lives. Note: You may lose a few of your legitimate blog followers and subscribers when they realize that you’ve disapproved (omitted) their comment(s).
So, as I sit here sipping a Bloody Mary, waiting for today’s UEFA game between Leipzig & Atletico to start, I’m debating whether I should keep the subscription newsletter services that I just set up last month with WP Subscribe Pro and Google’s Feedburner. Even if I cancel the subscription newsletter services, I’ll still be weeding through the comments, trying to figure out which is legit. and which is spam. In the end, I think the comments section of a blog should hold similar if not equal value to the blog itself.
Consequently: This is my advanced apology to all commenters on this blog:
I genuinely appreciate your comments, especially the laudatory ones 😊; but, from henceforth I will only approve (post) comments that add value to the reader. I will still post (approve) those comments that I perceive as legitimate thought-provoking comments and requests for assistance (for information), but before you ask questions like… how to add a WP Twitter Plug-in to your blog… you should first review the current log of comments on this blog addressing that same or similar information request.
Games on…Ta Ta