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September 12, 2010

Spam, Scams Plague Ping

Filed as News with no comments

Apple PingWith Apple’s new iTunes-based social network Ping skyrocketing past 1 million users in its first two days, it was perhaps inevitable that it come strongly across the radar of hackers, spammers, and scammers. In fact, it took less than 24 hours for the first wave to spam to appear. Now the same problems that have long plagued other popular networks like Facebook and Twitter have taken root in Ping.

The million dollar question is: how effectively, and quickly, can Apple not only eradicate existing spam, but prevent future spam from occurring?

According to eSecurity Planet, Bradley Anstis of M86 Security suggests Apple could begin by effectively disabling links in comments, since comments are the offending medium. “It would be too much to manage comment approvals, but implementing some form of automation to strip out links from comments is a good starting point,” he said. read more

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November 24, 2008

Movable Type Monday: TypePad Connect, vpod.tv, Layout Switching, and More

Filed as Features with 1 comment

Happy Monday, folks! The biggest Movable Type-related news this week was the release of TypePad Connect, a service from Six Apart that combines a Disqus-style comment system with MyBlogLog-like profiles. TypePad profiles extend the existing TypeKey service and allow you to connect it with your other social networking sites, turning it into a lifestream of sorts. TypePad comments supports OpenID login and has TypePad anti-spam built in. TypePad Connect will integrate with any MT blog, and it works with other blogging systems as well. More features are on the way, including the ability to import comments into your existing comment system.

I’ll admit, I’ve never personally seen a need for a hosted commenting system like this, but Disqus has become quite popular, and now 6A is entering the market. Have you had any experience with one of these systems? Let us know in the comments.

Plugins

vpod.tv — Six Apart Europe announced the release of a plugin that integrates vpod.tv into your MT blog. With this plugin you can upload video to your site and have it published on vpod.tv. The press release makes it sound like it should be available now, but I haven’t found it available for download anywhere. read more

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October 12, 2008

The Price of Closing Comments on Old Posts

I’ve never been a fan of closed comments, though they are a choice for many bloggers. However, I’ve never liked the idea of closing comments on old posts with the hopes of preventing or restricting comment spam. Here are a few reasons why.

The Myth of Comment Spam Prevention

There are a lot of myths around comment spam. One is that the more popular your blog is, the more comment spam. This is false. The more incoming links to your blog, the more comment spam. Comment spam bots follow those precious links, nofollow and dofollow, to your blog and spam it.

You could say that the more incoming links you have, the more popular your blog is, but that is not always true either. Trust me, it just takes one link to open the door to a voracious comment spam bot, as I’ve proven repeatedly on brand new blogs. These sites have no comment spam for months until that first trackback or incoming link.

The “old posts” myth about comment spam is that comment spammers hit older posts more than current posts. This is also not true. Comment spammers will hit EVERY post they can. Comment spam bots and human spammers don’t check the date of the post before they hit, thinking, “Hmmm, this one is at least six weeks old, ripe for spamming.” read more

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September 8, 2008

WTF Blog Clutter: The Death of the CAPTCHA

Many say, “It’s about time.” Others are saying, “We told you.” Either way, it’s as official as it gets. Bye-bye WTF blog cluttering CAPTCHAs. According to the Guardian in “How Captcha was foiled: Are you a man or a mouse?”, the CAPTCHA has been proven to not work.

While most of this ongoing series on WTF Blog Clutter has been focused on the blog sidebar and design elements, a big clutter element is the continued use of the CAPTCHA with comments with the misguided belief that it would stop comment spammers. NOT.

CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, created to ensure that humans can read the letters and numbers in a way that computers can’t, so automated scripts and bots can’t leave a comment on your blog. Pass the test and you’ve earned the right to comment. Except that the CAPTCHA techniques have been broken and bypassed easily by computers for years. read more

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Should You Point Out Comment Spam?

A week ago, I was offline for a few days and returned to find a bunch of comments on my blog pointing to comment spam that had slipped by my comment spam fighting WordPress Plugins as comment spammers tried new techniques.

Recently, I brought up the issues of comment trolls and mean comments, and about your ability and responsibility to editing your blog comments if they require some fixing or cleaning of inappropriate content. But what do you do with a collection of comments such as, “Is that comment spam above me by iwantyourbodynasty? You might want to get rid of it.”

They don’t help the conversation. They don’t contribute. They don’t expand upon the blog topic. But they do help me, the blogger, just in case I did miss a comment spam or two. Right? Maybe. read more

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September 2, 2008

Maybe it is Time for a Super Premium Version of Akismet?

Take a look at the comment below, caught by Akismet and held for moderation on a client blog I have access to, but not automatically marked as spam and removed when clicking the Check for Spam button. Why do I have to see it? What in this comment makes it even remotely possible to be a valid one?

Don’t get me wrong, Akismet is a great service, and it saves me a lot of time, as it does numerous others, but sometimes it amazes me what it lets through. And I’m not only thinking about the porn spam that litters most blogs’ moderation queues (or comment areas) should they have obtained some degree of traffic. read more

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