spam, spam, spam

Dear Oz
Please do not email me any more tips about losing fat. I will not, under any circumstances, open your email.

Dear “Number Witheld”
Please stop phoning to tell me how you’re working for the government to save me money on my electricity. You may say that you’re not selling me anything, but I have a funny feeling that by the end of the conversation you’ll have tried to sign me up to a new tariff. By the way, we’re registered with the TPS, not that it makes any difference.

Dear Mobile Number 07…
Please don’t send me texts about an Accident Claim. I haven’t had an accident and even if I had, I certainly won’t be phoning you about it on a Premium Rate phone number.

Dear Hilary
I’m sure you can beat any like-for-like quote, but stop posting me your leaflets. The last one went straight into the bin with all the other junk mail and now I have to carry it up the yard to be recycled. By the way, we’re registered with the MPS, not that it makes any difference.

Dear Sam
How kind of you to visit my blog and leave such a constructive comment. I’m so glad that “There are definitely many of these, ladies and men downside to through the help of strategy …”. Do you think I’m stupid? Why would I click on your link or publish your comment?

Dear WordPress
How exciting that I have a new follower. Thanks for the email. What’s that you say? “You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!” Goodness, all those exclamation marks. Shall I follow the link to their website? Sorry, there’s no time because another two followers popped up. I wonder how xVb345 and 24gunman6z found me. Do you know what? Thrilling as it is to have all these new followers, I don’t think I’ll look at their blogs because they’re just spammers.

I have a vision of the whole world spiralling into a giant spam overload. Sometimes I ignore phone calls if the number is withheld or International (sorry Lizzie) and no matter how good the spam filter is, Olga from Russia still manages to sneak her emails to me. Recently, WordPress has been overrun with spammers. It used to be just comments, which Askimet filtered out fairly efficiently, but now its followers. My follower count has grown enormously, yet the page views remain constant. I suppose for those people obsessed with numbers it must be wonderful, but I’d rather have fifty followers, who actually read the blog and occasionally comment or tweet me, than a million who just clicked a “follow” button without even visiting the blog. Why do they do it? Do they really think it’s going to drive traffic to their website?

On the flip side, Askimet has now gone into some sort of overdrive mode, dumping comments in the Spam box. If I look at the stats, my top commenter is Elizabeth from Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse. So why did her last comment go to the Spam box? Does Askimet feel her blog is too subversive? Do we need protecting from crochet, sewing and cooking?

If your comments don’t show up, it’s not because I’ve blacklisted you but because Askimet has filtered you out and I haven’t checked the Spam box (though I shall try to be more diligent in the future).

If you’re a genuine new follower, please let me know. There’s lots of ways to contact me here – I’m not trawling for sycophantic comments,  just a hello so I know you’re a real person and can take a look at your blog or gaze at your Pinterest board for inspiration.

Are you having the same problems with WordPress? Is Blogger any better?

35 thoughts on “spam, spam, spam

  1. I adore WP. I find they filter out the spam comments brilliantly, with only the very occasional one slipping through. I do think it’s a downside that you can’t block followers like you can on twitter and instagram, but such is life. The word verification on Blogpost and Blogger blogs drives me bonkers sometimes. 🙂

    1. I detest word verification on Blogger. Quite often I can’t read the numbers on those silly little pictures and sometimes can’t work out the letters either. More than once I’ve just binned the comment rather than slog through the verification.

  2. This made me laugh out loud! I love the idea of replying to spammers like this! Might be a great new way to relieve frustration at the end of a bad day! I laughed again to find that my blog might be deemed subversive by Askimet! It’s a nuisance though if genuine comments get binned – it reminds me that I must check the spam box more frequently myself. I had to remove the possibility of anonymous comments on my blog because the spam was just getting ridiculous which is a shame because it does deny access to commenting for those who don’t have a blogger ID. No easy answer, I fear. E x
    PS No, Askimet this is not a spam comment!

  3. Hello I am a real person, and I am very new to your blog, which by the way is a great blog, I hope I don’t end up in the spam box!
    I don’t always leave a comment but I just had to here. I am on Blogger, and I have the comment come into my email box, so I can answer them there privately or go to my blog and answer them there.

  4. I love WP too..
    Askimet is very good at stopping spam from getting published, but does still leave you with a lot of deleting. Then I installed a newer version of the comment form from Jetpack. (I use WP software but on a self hosted site.) Spam has all but disappeared. From over 100 a day I now get about one a week.
    I had trouble leaving the comment on your last post. If you fished me out of spam, thank you!

  5. I’m laughing as I never check that spam folder so now I did, it’s filled with Japanese spam which I have to admit is pretty to look at!

  6. Blogger is terrible everything gets through – I have had to change my settings to ‘registered users only’ and the spam has stopped straight away. Don’t know if you have that facility with WP.

  7. Hi Anne, Great post. I find Askimet pretty good but sometimes a legitimate comment gets caught up. Sometimes I am really not sure whether a comment is real or not, maybe I am a bit thick.

    1. You’re home Glenda – hope you had a good break.
      If in doubt about a comment I just look at the address of the person – it’s usually pretty obvious then, though I may well have deleted comments from perfectly normal people who just had an odd webpage address.

  8. I know exactly how you feel , i thought it was just me getting spam – i am partial to spam fritters but noT this sort of spam ! Your piece did make me laugh ! Wish I could say the same to some of the spam I get !

  9. Given that I’m about to tell you Blogger is better I guess I’m bound to end up in Spam! I use for work and Blogger for me so I do know how both function, and WP used to be better, but not anymore. If you don’t allow anonymous comments on Blogger most people can still comment – they need an Open ID (e.g. Google, Yahoo, Flickr) but not a Blogger ID. That’s how knitsofacto is set up and I get about one spam comment a month. Spam followers I don’t get at all. Blogger is actually pretty versatile, you just need to take the time to learn how to manipulate it.

    My big bug bear is a different kind of spam … emails, like this one from yesterday, that come via the blog contact box … “Hi, I was wondering if you could help me? Our client, X in Somerset, regularly hosts knitting clubs in its Craft Centre. I have compiled the below list of events, which I thought may be of interest to you. If you require any more information or pictures, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thank you and kind regards, Sarah Jean, X PR Ltd Celebrating 19 years in the PR business”. For which read, “We think we’re so awesome that you are bound to want to give our client free advertising space, even though we haven’t bothered to discover if you’re anywhere near Somerset or actually state clearly what type of help we want”. I try not to send very rude replies!

    1. I switched from Blogger because it went through a bit of an unreliable patch and now I’m a bit wary because Google seem to discontinue things like Google Reader and I wonder what will be next.
      Do you think that companies realise that some PR firms representing them actually do more harm than good? That’s the trouble with being popular Annie – everyone wants to link up with you!

  10. Hi Anne, I use Blogger and rarely get spam comments and don’t think I have any spam followers (at all of 36 or something ‘followers’ via the Blogger system I think they’re real, ha!). I don’t use the comment verification thing because I find it too annoying on other people’s blogs – so hard to decipher! But if I had excessive spam I guess I’d have to use it. Pity you’re getting so much. Here is Australia we have a ‘do not call register’ for phone numbers that stops random sales calls, well, most of them. And I have found myself unsubscribing to more and more things that come to my email inbox. Too much filtering required in life these days!

    1. Do you think posts such as Snotgate (still my favourite post ever) puts off potential spammers? Our Telephone Preference Service is supposed to stop sales calls but doesn’t work if they’re phoning from outside UK, which a large proportion seem to be.
      With my blog reader and email newsletters I’ve started to unsuscribe if I haven’t opened three or four notifications, as obviously I’m not that interested and I can’t be bothered to wade through it all.

  11. Are the spam comments & e mails automatically generated or or are there actual people who find it fun and have the time to sit around putting out all that nonsense? Its a pain that those who take the time & effort to put out beautiful blogs for people to enjoy, have to then endure spam

  12. Your post is interesting Anne and the other comments are interesting too. I get very little spam comments or followers on Blogger. I do however get a lot of phone calls and emails from people offering and promising me all sorts of things!?

  13. The irony of this is… I just found your perfectly lovely and perfectly normal comment caught in Akismet on my blog 🙂 Do you think ‘they’ are taking revenge? Twitter spam is interesting, but something has changed there because at one time one was followed by endless beautiful but undressed ladies and they seem to have given up. I have considered dumping the Like button because that is used by vast numbers of spammers, but then for those friends who just want to say ‘Kilroy was here’ hello I’ve read it but haven’t got time to comment it’s a good thing ( I think?). I have my comments set to moderate the first comment from a new email and to automatically moderate any comment that contains a hyperlink. Seems to work. As to the TPS that makes no difference to people calling from out of the UK. If they sound like they are UK based I ask them where they are calling from and if they say UK I tell them they are breaking the law and can be fined and they usually say sorry and take me off their lists.

    I am not in the least bit real though x Joanna

    1. Revenge indeed as I just fished your comments out of the Spam box.
      I often use the Like button when I don’t have a constructive comment to make, but enjoyed reading the post but there seem to be a lot of auto generated “Likes” so I’m beginning to doubt the use of it.

  14. Good one Anne 🙂

    I’ve got to go check my spam box right now. And thanks for bursting my bubble – I thought all the new followers were because my writing was so irresistable…

    Sigh… what will they think up next?

  15. Hello, I just fished a couple of your comments out of my Spam box. Thanks for letting me know about this; I’ll check it more regularly!

  16. I haven’t got enough comments to bother to set up the approve comments, so it didn’t occur to me to watch for false spam until the other day. Sure enough, WP had sent a perfectly valid comment over there.
    As a new blogger, I’m still wallowing in the stats page. I know none of it means anything, because I am a co-blogger on another blog and have been through all of it before, but I do it anyhow. I suppose we just want validation *sigh*. Most of my “likes” are obviously spammers. Of course I go see who they are, and most of them are trying to make money by getting people to sign up to do whatever and then go spam other people.
    I guess I’d better check that spam folder again!

Comments are closed.