This blog has not yet been in existence for two weeks and I’m writing my second post about spam. The phenomenon of spam is just amazing (like a train wreck) to watch.
Currently, the character of spam that I’m seeing is of two types. The first is where the name of the posted comment is linked to a URL of some nefarious origin and the body of the comment is some words of feint praise that may or may not relate to the article. I’m still undecided on how much effort is being expended here. I’m almost of a mind to allow it — but that would only encourage them. Really, so the only people who read my post on Voldemort sell questionable body enhancements?
The other type is closely related: the name is still linked, but the body also contains a link that is obviously suspect. While I can dismiss someone as an idiot for clicking on someone’s name to get a web page, I feel worse about leaving a link in the content — so I have no temptation to approve these.
So that leaves us with three options:
- Spammers are stupid.
- Spammers can’t tell that my site moderates every comment _and_ has various spam plugins (see option 1).
- Or the chance that I’ll approve their vile excrement is high enough that they keep banging their keyboards (and/or some form of autobot).
I don’t think much of option 1. It seems to me that the spam business is a pretty tough one in which to succeed. Gone are the days of just wildly throwing your trash to the wind in hopes that someone would pick it up. The spam I see in my email and on my comments has some creativity to it — so that by whatever means that spammer is amplifying his effect (number of attempts), he is, on a daily basis, exercising a fair amount of creativity.
If option 1 is out, option 2 can’t be far behind. WordPress is fairly common software and the plugins I use seem to be reasonably popular. Since spammers spend much of their day interacting with WordPress, I can’t imagine that they haven’t already cataloged and eviscerated every line of code several times already.
So that leaves us with option 3, which has some unpalatable side points. I’ve already had to install an urgent important patch to WordPress (from version 3.0.3 to 3.0.4). I don’t follow the innards of WordPress, but that type of patch language always gets my attention. Are the spammers expecting to hack the site and see their posts? Why, then, bother to post comments before a site is hacked? I hardly think that a spammer who manages to hack a site will be magnanimous enough to authorize the postings of his fellows. There is no honor in spam.
I don’t know, then. Are spammers truly just wankers?