Blog abuse

Yesterday was EdCampLdn.

It was yet another great day of learning for me. Plus, it’s a chance to meet people face to face that I’d “known” for a while online.

One of the things that impressed me was that, with all these educators together in one spot, I didn’t hear a phone ring or send off a notification all day.

Including my own. That wasn’t surprising because I have my phone set to vibrate for notifications and they’re sent to my watch as well. It was going off all day, constantly. There were the usual Twitter notifications but most of them were coming from my blog.

Now, normally bloggers get a kick from people commenting but my blog was literally getting hammered with comments. In an environment like this, opening up your blog and messing around isn’t right so I sneaked a screen capture and investigated it once I got home.

This one blog post was being hit over and over with spam. How do I know spam as opposed to legitimate comments from “Juan Shurtleff”? I copied a substantial part of entire comment and did a search for the text. The same comment appears on blogs all over the place.

I guess it’s small consolation but Akismet did identify 94 of these comments as Spam but 30 still got through as approved comments. A bunch of mouse clicks later and I’d clean it but more kept coming. I finally threw in the towel and disabled comments on that particular post.

Lots of questions abound.

  • Why me?
  • Why this post? If you look, it’s four years old.
  • How long would it continue if I didn’t turn off commenting?
  • Since I’ve turned off commenting on that post, will it move to others?

It was a downer for an otherwise great day of learning.

Do any of you experienced bloggers have advice or insights?

Response to spammers

I haven’t written this recurring post since the summer time.  Interestingly, I do go in and check the comments that are sitting in blogging jail cells in case something legitimate needs to be approved.

After laughing at a few, I thought bringing them public might be enjoyable for all to read.  You can’t make this stuff up!

I feel so badly that you had to walk away from your kittens.  I’ll bet your bestie in Montana hates you now.

A more interested person might have sent it to Google Translate.  Oh, OK.  I gave in and decided to have it translated.  I’d hate to this I’m missing something important.

“But no one is going to persuade you to do this. To read the newspapers where you will probably write. The editor of Gmyz must have two skills; thinking and logical drawing conclusions. From your entry it is clear that these advantages are alien to you, because it is probably best for you to absorb the pulp of the leading “Mendi”. And maybe it is worth to have a wider seeing (you do not have to agree with them) for the same problems, even on this sensitive page. I’m happy.

I should have gone with my first instinct!

Well, there’s always The Google.  It would have been far quicker than writing a spam reply and then waiting for me to answer your question.  (And, quite frankly, I have no idea what your question is)

Ever wonder what happens when a dictionary barfs into a reply?

It’s actually kind of neat that people “take a break” from things to read my blog.  I’m still not sure of what the purpose is though.  And yes, babies and small cute animals do love me.  A big cute dog does too.

Having a utility to catch spam really is a nice thing to have.  It’s no wonder that a lot of people turn off the ability to reply on their blog posts!

For the record, I took a break from wrapping Christmas gifts in order to write this post.  My big cute dog was helping.  It’s the one time of year that I regret going digital as my start in wrapping is to find a pen that actually works to address the tags!

Have a terrific Tuesday.

This blog post was originally posted at:

If you find it anywhere else, it’s not original.

Response to Spammers

Daily, I take a peek at what Akismet has caught for spam.  There’s the occasional legitimate comment that gets trapped there and I’d hate to let it go by and so I’ll unflag it.  However, you do have to read or at least skim the content to make that determination.  And, of course, there’s the real, legitimate spam.  Sometimes, the content just is too precious to not ignore completely.

You’ve gotten good stuff on this site.

Thanks.  I gots lot of time invested in this.

You have one of the greatest web-sites.

Well, I like to think it’s good – “great” to be determined. But thanks for noticing.

You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

OK, this brought a tear to my eye.  I’m still not falling for your link baiting though.

Cannot believe the naive comments. You go and visit these places and you will see exactly what having this sort of communication means to the community. Alerts for all sorts of disasters

Now, don’t go insulting the readers of this blog.  They’re anything but naive.

Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic
but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve
had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

You’d think that this question would be redundant since the URL is  I guess things aren’t immediately obvious!

Basically had to say I’m just lucky I happened in your website.

Maybe you should buy a lottery ticket today.  Hopefully, your luck continues.

Don’t blindly!We must believe ourself.

I have no idea how to respond to this.

I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours these
days, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours.
It’s pretty worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all
webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you did,
the net might be much more useful than ever before.

My goal in life is to be sufficient

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Denne bloggen ikke spille det spillet. Unnskyld.

Aw, yes.  Comments make blogging worthwhile!


I Hate Spam

Every time I open my mailbox, there’s evidence that the spammer / phishers are at work.  Even though I cleaned out my Gmail spam box this afternoon, there were 66 more that had be trapped and waiting for me this evening.  As per usual, I skim to see if anything got caught by accident and then select all before deleting them forever.  It’s a ritual that I think most of us do regularly.  Left along, Google will eventually blow them away but I like to look as there are periodically good messages that incorrectly get flagged as spam.  Repeat the process for all of the other accounts that I use and it starts to add up.

While I do have some scripts written for some of the email accounts that I use, I don’t for others as the history feature of the original mail can be helpful at times.


But, that’s not the only place that spam shows up.  Periodically, you see it in Twitter where there isn’t really any maintenance to be done – just ignore it or report the spammer and then ignore it.

It’s not just email that attracts spammers these days.  It’s your blog – heck according to the statistics, Akismet has caught 57,864 spam messages to my blog.  I used to keep my PD wiki wide open until it attracted defacers and have since tightened it up.  It’s a never ending battle.  I have discussions with people new to the electronic world all the time and they just don’t understand the scope of what’s happening.  It can be difficult to explain but I found an awesome infographic that I’ve tucked away and use at the appropriate teaching moment.  It’s called “The Evolution of Spam – An Email Marketing Infographic” and was shared on the Marketo blog.  Click the link to see it full sized.  I’ll share it below.  If you have to explain spam to students or friends, you might find it helpful.

Then, all that you have to do is explain Monty Python to the kids…

A Sign of the Times

But undoubtedly only a drop in the bucket.

The “Spam King” is sentenced to four years in prison for activities involving spam or, politely, unsolicited email.  As you read through the article, you’ll see that there was more than just the sending of email involved.

Will this serve as a message to others who do the same thing?

You’d like to think so but it’s big business.  As you read the story, I’m sure that you’ll be surprised at just how much money was made from spamming activities.  That represents considerable incentive to try to evade detection.  Then, this story hits:

in addition to giving us more things to worry about in daily email, spam and the spreading of virus/spyware has spawned huge industries in companies that sell protection for your home PC and also for the corporate enterprise.

Even bloggers and Twitterers get spammed.  Thank goodness for the spam protection that WordPress provides.  (Akismet)

If nothing else, this should serve as a reminder to ensure that your antivirus and antispyware is up to date and functional.

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