Over the last month or so, blog comment spam has surged here.
You may have noticed, or not. I try to mark the ones that Disqus doesn’t trap, but some inevitably leak through into the wild. Not a big deal to me really because they’re more annoying than offensive.
Initially, I thought that spammers had figured out a way to skirt Disqus’ spam filters, and I went to Twitter, my de facto source for technical information, with this question. Daniel Ha, Disqus founder, and his team were very quick to respond, which was greatly appreciated.
Turns out I was a little right and a little bit wrong. Apparently, these spam comments are posted by real people (vs. the normal bot postings), which made them harder to detect. Disqus is working on improving their filters, and I’m not really that bothered by the spam. It’s not a big deal to me, since we’re pretty small and don’t get that many.
But what I’m wondering here is who benefits from this cottage industry?
“We give businesses and developers access to an on-demand, scalable workforce. Workers select from thousands of tasks and work whenever it’s convenient.”
Nice idea. Amazon uses MTurk to provide the results for the Amazon Remembers, a cool feature of their iPhone app. However, the service has its critics, and it’s been outed in the past as a way to falsify content on the ‘tubes. Most recently, a Belkin representation is alleged to have used MTurk to get positive reviews on Amazon.
Someone must be paying people to write spammy blog comments, right? I can’t imagine someone would do that for free, especially since very few of these comments have an outwardly discernible agenda, e.g. “great article!, grats for u site :)”, that would point to self-promotion.
So, what do we know? 1) There are people writing these comments. 2) They’re not rabidly promoting something.
I’m assuming they’re getting compensated to do this.
I want to know what the agenda is. Do you know? Have an idea?
INSERT INTO “comments” SELECT thoughts WHERE user = “you”;
Update: Thanks to Chet for correcting my insert syntax. I won’t be passing my DBA certification anytime soon. Should be something like:
INSERT INTO comments (witty_rejoinder)