25 June 2014

Fun With Blog Spam

I've been trying to make things easier for our blog readers who like to chat with us via comments. A while ago, I removed the moderation function so that comments are automatically published without having to wait for me to review and approve them. There had only been a handful of spam comments which managed to sneak past the spam filter and make their way into the published comments, so I figured it was easy enough to delete them after the fact. 

That all seemed to be working fine, so a couple of days ago I decided to remove the "captcha" functionality. You know the annoying thing that makes you type in fuzzy house numbers to prove you aren't a robot. Well, it looks like the spambots have figured out that things are a little lax on our blog and the spam comments have been flooding in. Fortunately, the spam filter on Blogger still works well and they don't end up getting published, but they're clogging up my email, so sadly, I've turned "captcha" back on. Sorry to make things harder on you guys!

I've been reading the spam comments and they are hysterical, so I thought I would share some with you.

I think this one only makes sense if you've been drinking heavily.

"Hello mates, its fantastic paragraph regarding tutoring and entirely defined, keep it up all the time."

Wow, I was really starting to believe all of the flattery in this comment. Then I remembered that there isn't too much in the way of valuable information on our blog. Especially as they left this comment on our post on marina life, which was basically a sarcastic look at how we spend our time when we're in marinas. You know, showers, laundry and provisioning. The kind of thing that's really important to community groups.

"We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful to you."

I kid you not...perfume made out of spider webs, oil and vinegar. I bet you wish I had left the link in so that you could rush off on buy some. 

"This is great for many shoppers that surf day and night on the internet, just a few clicks and you could get your favorite discount cologne delivered right at your doorstep. This is a spicy, sweet classic scent that is an overall popular fragrance by Chanel was created by soaking special perfumed ointment and spider webs in a mix made of oil and vinegar."

Yeah, because if you read my blog at all you can tell I'm some sort of computer genius and know all sorts of things about transferring platforms. Not sure how they didn't notice that I use Blogger as my platform, not WordPress.

"My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on various websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about [naughty spam link removed] Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!"

This one was left on a post about roller reefing. Apparently, sailing blogs don't generally talk about things like boat equipment.

"I believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people do not discuss these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!"

And my personal favorite because it almost seemed believable. Until you read the part about it being off-topic. They left this on a post about anchorages, you know with beaches so it actually was kind of on-topic.

"Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!"

We've had so much fun with spam, that even Scott has gotten into it. When I asked him to check the draft of this post, this is what he emailed me back. If you've ever sold anything on TradeMe then you may have had an email or two like this. 

"Your topic looks good and I am satisfied with the product. I will be paying more then the asking price so will need you to wire the excess amount back to me. To proceed I will need your bank details. I look forward to concluding this transaction quickly."

Please, if you're not a spambot, keep the comments coming. We love hearing from you!

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  1. Ellen, check out Akismet. It protects my blog from spam. I just looked up the stats and it has protected my site from 246,260 spam comments already. It makes very few errors, and allows you to dump the captcha, which will get you many more comments. I know a lot of people who won't comment if there is captcha, as it just adds too much time if you read lots of blogs.

    1. I thought Akismet was only available for WordPress? Is that's what you're on? I know people hate captcha. I hate it too! Unfortunately, my little experiment turning it off didn't work very well.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I wish the second-to-last comment wasn't spam - that would've been amusing.

    1. Hi Sarah - do you mean the one about the beach and the hermit crab? I wonder if that has ever happened to anyone.

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