Friday, September 27, 2013

Increase in Spam on Blogger

My website/blog is hosted on Blogger and I allow comments and responses to my posts. While the number of comments is quite low, 385 published in 1,136 posts, I welcome them even when I disagree with them. I have deleted hundreds of other comments, almost all were spam. My post on 13th August last about Twitter, has attracted 2,456 views to date - way above what I normally get (average is about 100 views per post).

Blogger has several protections against spam and what they call "other associated dastardly behavior". You can switch off all comments, or prevent comments on individual posts (comments are now switched off for the Twitter post above, and for this one too). Blogger has a "Word Verification" system that requires "people leaving comments on your blog to complete a word verification step, which will help reduce comment spam". Each comment must be moderated by me when I receive an email - I can then decide to publish or mark as spam. As you can see with the numbers above, I don't normally get that many comments.

Word verification in Blogger.
Image source: Google Support.

Since the Twitter post above I have noticed a huge increase in the number of spam comments on my blog, spammers have found a way to easily get past Blogger's very basic spam prevention systems. Despite Blogger's assertion that a "lot of comment spam is made automatically by software which can't pass the word verification step" - this is clearly not fully the case. I guess one thing I could do is to avoid posts that are likely to attract spammers, and be a bit more aware of what I write. My YouTube channel has also recorded a slight increase in spams.