Annoying The Spammers

BigWords

Geekzilla
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
10,670
Reaction score
2,360
Location
inside the machine
I've been approving spam comments on the blog, though removing all of the hyperlinks. In addition to the normal cleaning routine, I've also decided on a more active anti-spam technique, though I don't know if it will enrage them further (here's hoping it will :)). I just need to know the legalities of doing this.

Can I expect any comeback? Am I allowed to do this legally?
 

Billingsgate

Disappointment to my mother
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 11, 2007
Messages
271
Reaction score
31
Location
Hong Kong
Website
www.humorist.net
I dunno. It may be cathartic for you. But I don't think it will enrage spammers that you allow spam posting but remove links. Do you really think they're checking back on your blog to test their posts? I doubt they'll waste their time.

Posting spammers' e-mail addresses is counterproductive too. 99 percent of the time they've hijacked someone else's legitimate address. So if you try to get "revenge" by encouraging people to flame those addresses, you're only punishing the victims.
 

BigWords

Geekzilla
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
10,670
Reaction score
2,360
Location
inside the machine
I did it when I found all that spam appearing in the space of one freakin' hour. I'll think of other ways to irritate people.
 

WWWWolf

Look! A carnival wolf!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
167
Reaction score
13
Location
Oulu, Finland
Website
www.iki.fi
Rule number 1: Spammers lie.
Rule number pretty-close-to-1: Spammers don't care.

Me, I just try to block the spam comments when they're being posted (currently mostly thanks to reCaptcha). Anything else is pretty much pointless.

Yeah, I've sometimes let the spammers post comments but removed all HTML formatting - but I soon realised that was completely pointless. Near-worthless comments that basically boiled down to "Good site! Visit blahblah for v1agr1 and t3x4s h0ld 3m" just didn't improve my already almost nonexistent discussions. :)
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Self-Ban
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,750
Reaction score
2,928
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
Spammers also don't check their email. Whatever you do, they aren't going to know. What can work is reporting the spam to the FDC and Spamcop
 
Last edited:

foster84

Banned
Spammer
Joined
Aug 10, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
CA
Website
www.unitekequipment.muc.miyachi.com
Yeah, I've sometimes let the spammers post comments but removed all HTML formatting - but I soon realised that was completely pointless. Near-worthless comments that basically boiled down to "Good site! Visit blahblah for v1agr1 and t3x4s h0ld 3m" just didn't improve my already almost nonexistent discussions. :)

Yeah, I've not bothered with this at all, because I only want substantial comments.

Things like, "Great post. I just subscribed to your blog. Write more on this!" aren't valuable enough for me to spend a few second cleaning up and approving.

It gives me more satisfaction knowing that they don't have a voice, than it would if I were to give them a partial voice with hyperlinks removed. Because that would equate to a partial success on their part.
 

BigWords

Geekzilla
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
10,670
Reaction score
2,360
Location
inside the machine
I don't want to block anyone from having a voice on my blog, and that goes for the folks who want to leave dumbass comments as well. Deciding that spammers should automatically be removed seems a bit control-freakish, although I do take out all of the links they helpfully include...

I'm still thinking on how I could use the comments in some way (save for the obvious mass e-mail bombardment back to them). I don't want to descend to their level, but I don't want to pretend they don't exist either.
 

Bookdragonette

Differently Actual
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
Messages
219
Reaction score
19
Location
East of the meridian
Website
bookish-dragon.dreamwidth.org
Spammers aren't in it to have a voice on your blog. They just want to spread their links around, in the hopes someone'll click on them. Why do you want to give them a place in the comments, even if you remove the links?
 

benbradley

It's a doggy dog world
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 5, 2006
Messages
20,322
Reaction score
3,513
Location
Transcending Canines
I dunno. It may be cathartic for you. But I don't think it will enrage spammers that you allow spam posting but remove links. Do you really think they're checking back on your blog to test their posts? I doubt they'll waste their time.

Posting spammers' e-mail addresses is counterproductive too. 99 percent of the time they've hijacked someone else's legitimate address. So if you try to get "revenge" by encouraging people to flame those addresses, you're only punishing the victims.
The email address in the "From:" field usually isn't even hijacked - email is insecure and you can put in anyone's return address.

What this will mainly do is expose these addresses more, resulting in more spam sent to them (regardless of whether these addresses are owned by soammers or innocents).
I don't want to block anyone from having a voice on my blog, and that goes for the folks who want to leave dumbass comments as well.
I can see that, but spammers aren't even leaving dumbass comments, they're at best only PRETENDING to leave a comment related to the topic - the only reason they post is to promote their links. That's the ONLY reason. And that I delete completely without the first twinge of regret or remorse.

At least a dumbass cares about your topic (unless it's a troll, which is a whole nuther subject).
Deciding that spammers should automatically be removed seems a bit control-freakish,
NOT AT ALL. Spam is the equivalent of stealing your printer and paper to print out advertisiing flyers to put on windshields in a parking lot.

The blog and its commenting feature is a service made available to you by the blog site for your use. Letting spammer posts stand is like letting others put advertising bumper stickers on your car.
although I do take out all of the links they helpfully include...
Then do you understand that changing the links is equivalent to deleting the spam? What you're left with is effectively advertising copy (written by a "chickenboner," a technical term for a spammer) - the spammer will never come back to see if things are changed.

I'm still thinking on how I could use the comments in some way (save for the obvious mass e-mail bombardment back to them). I don't want to descend to their level, but I don't want to pretend they don't exist either.
Are your comments moderated, or do they show up immediately? My comments (when I used to have them - maybe I should post another entry or two) are moderated. Legitimate comments get posted when I see them, and spam comments NEVER see the light of day. No one ever sees a spam link in the comments on MY blog. That's my best defense against spammers.

If you want to leave the spam posted, DO change the links - you might want to change the spam links to this:
http://spam.abuse.net
It's more about email (and Usenet) spam, but most of the concepts apply.

I know the anger against spammers, I've had it since my first email spam in 1996. Here's a site describing email spam, though some of the concepts are applicable to other types of spam:
http://www.claws-and-paws.com/spam-l
Hmm, looks like that list was shut down and there's another one started up, but the FAQ is still there. Things like tracking IP addresses COULD be useful, except that, as far as I've seen, blog posts and comments don't have these available to users.
Spammers would surely feel honored to get some kind of attention from any blogger.
They don't give a flying donut as long as the payload, their links. Sometimes the whole text is in the payload, such as religious or political spam, in which case the comment would only see the light of day on my blog ONLY as the topic of a blog post, and likely "disemvoweled."
 

BigWords

Geekzilla
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
10,670
Reaction score
2,360
Location
inside the machine
Why do you want to give them a place in the comments, even if you remove the links?

I guess I feel that the act of deleting any comment comes close to censorship, so my natural tendency is to let them be. Of course, the links they provide are harmful, therefore I remove them. The idea of starting with spammers and then moving on to annoying comments bothers me, because if I start deleting comments the notion that the possibility exists to "clean up" comments is there. That worries me.

The email address in the "From:" field usually isn't even hijacked - email is insecure and you can put in anyone's return address.

Yeah, I'll remove the e-mail addresses and leave the names. Good point, which completely bypassed me when I was putting the page up.

Are your comments moderated, or do they show up immediately?

Moderated with Akismet, but it isn't bulletproof, so a comment might show up before I spot it. Which brings me back to the deletion of comments that are already up. Taking things off the blog after the fact seems 'wrong' somehow, but I can see that I need to think on this some more.
 

veinglory

volitare nequeo
Self-Ban
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
28,750
Reaction score
2,928
Location
right here
Website
www.veinglory.com
I don't think deleting spam is censorship, I think it is a civic duty for the public good. Like pulling invassive toxic weeds out of your garden or picking up litter in the local playground.
 

WWWWolf

Look! A carnival wolf!
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Messages
167
Reaction score
13
Location
Oulu, Finland
Website
www.iki.fi
I don't think deleting spam is censorship, I think it is a civic duty for the public good. Like pulling invassive toxic weeds out of your garden or picking up litter in the local playground.

I've seen a lot of arguments on how spammers have freedom of speech and that should be respected, but that has never convinced me. I wrote a longish reply on this topic, but then it grew and grew so I posted it as a blog entry. (Warning: It's past 1 o'clock in the morning here. On the other hand, it's usually just about the perfect hour to write for me. :) )