Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Spam on Blogger, Damned Spam

Google is doing a great job dealing with spam on Gmail, but not so much on Blogger. I used to get spam in comments very rarely, but a few weeks ago it increased to 1 or 2 day, and for the last few days I started seeing tens of spam comments per day. Deleting each one of them requires a few clicks. This is quite a pain, so starting now, you will need to login with Blogger before you can post a comment.

Hint to the Blogger team: what about requiring those who are not logged in to enter a Captcha, like everyone else is doing out there?

Update Nov 7, 2007 - Olivier noted in a comment below that Blogger already implements a Captcha. They call this word verification, and your blog is on Blogger, you can enable it under Settings / Comments. Very nice indeed. And now anonymous comments are enabled again!

11 comments:

Olivier Bruchez said...

There already is a nice "Show word verification for comments?" check box, under "Settings > Comments". Isn't that what you're looking for?

Alessandro Vernet said...

Olivier,

I didn't know about it: I must have assumed that if there was such a feature, it would be enabled by default :). I updated the post accordingly. Thanks for the tip!

Alex

Spam Fighter said...

Google needs to start accepting automated reports about blogspot.com URLs in spams. SpamCop parses these and wants to contact Google's abuse team. Sadly, Google refuses these reports.

Users must manually report them using forms that are hidden (some where on the "Contact Google" pages about TOS abuse).

This is particularly annoying for blogspot.com sites that use JavaScript to "redirect" - one cannot even see the "Flag Blog" link, since the blogspot.com page merely is a redirect. Spammers use these to get past spam filters of URLs that have IP addresses that are on block lists.

The net effect is that now ISPs are flagging blogspot.com URLs as "spam" no matter what. Google's reputation is suffering.

Olivier Bruchez said...

Another thing: I don't know about you, but Gmail classifies some of the e-mails I receive from Blogger as spam. Kind of ironic...

Alessandro Vernet said...

Well, well, I think this happened only once for me, for the previous comment on this post. Maybe this is because the poster's name is "Spam Fighter"?

Alex

Olivier Bruchez said...

> Maybe this is because the poster's name is "Spam Fighter"?

Maybe. It happened twice to me. With articles that had nothing to do with spam. Makes you wonder...

Alessandro Vernet said...

> Maybe. It happened twice to me. With articles that had nothing to do with
> spam. Makes you wonder...

Hopefully marking those as "not spam" will help. I had some trouble at some point with Gmail taking all the emailing coming from rssfwd (a feed to email service) as spam. I marked a bunch of them as "not spam", and it seems Gmail got the message. At least it doesn't consider those to be spam anymore.

Olivier Bruchez said...

I've never had any problem with rssfwd (which I use, too). Maybe thanks to you? I guess marking an e-mail as spam or "not spam" can have a global effect on Gmail's filter. I hope it does, at least.

Spam Fighter said...

I think that adding the sender of the emails to your contacts list also helps Gmail in not mistaking good mail as spam.

Spam Fighter said...

I did a blog today about my frustrations with reporting spam to Google and their "archaic" web-based forms.

http://backscattervictims.blogspot.com/2007/12/why-i-stopped-reporting-googlepages.html

There's a link at the bottom of it that refers to a study about Splogs that says that 75% of blogs on blogspot are spam blogs! Sounds like Google needs to apply an internal approach to stopping the creation of these.

Alessandro Vernet said...

Messages from Blogger come from the email of the person who posted the message. I guess this makes sense. But this means you can't just add one single email to your address book to be sure that all the notifications from Blogger are not considered as spam.

75% of the blogs on Blogger are spam? Well that's not good, but maybe not as bad as it sounds. After all, maybe 10% of the messages I get are not spam, but that doesn't bother me as long as I don't have to deal the remainder 90%. Maybe the same is true for blogs.

Alex