Blog spam. Bleh!
In the last five days this blog has had 118 spam comments inserted in its entries. Fortunately, the junk comment filters caught 116 of those automatically. We all know what a pain spam is in our emails and those of us who use blogs know it can be just as annoying. There is a larger problem, however, for those of us using blogs, however. A blog is a publication and so if my blog has a link to some teen porn website, then I am the publisher of that link until I remove it–and so is my university. Further, if the blog in question is one I’m using with my students, it means that I am redistributing this information to them.
I have faced this particular problem several times over the past year–students writing to me to complain that some spammer (or his/her bot) is placing particularly disturbing content into the comment fields of a posting the student wrote for a class blog. Blogs do not work as educational tools unless the comment functions are enabled, so I now end up having to set up each student as a registered user just to avoid the spam problem.
But this blog is a different matter. I want the general public to be able to post comments here. And so, every week, I pay the price by having to spend time deleting comments that slip past the spam filters. I’m hoping against hope that the creators of blog software will stay at least even with, if not slightly ahead of the spammers. Otherwise, I and many other bloggers out there are going to have to close our blogs to outside comments except from users we can verify–what a pain that will be!