Several folks have asked me why I have deleted so many user-posted comments from various blog entries. I wish there were an exciting or scandalous reason I could blog about, but the explanation is disappointing: link spam (aka blog spam).
When I set up my Blogger account, I erred in selecting the setting that allows for anonymous comments. I wanted to encourage anyone to disagree (even violently) with my blog entries, and I thought anonymous comments would allow for maximum openness. Unfortunately, it seems too much openness is a bad thing as the setting simply invited blog spam.
Virtually every one of the deleted comments went something like this:
You have a really great blog here. If you're interested in
digital cameras, check out my site.
At first, I was actually impressed with the ingenuity of the 'bot' that automatically posts these lame ads on blogs. But after about a dozen of the annoying intrusions, I got tired of manually removing them, so I tooled around with Blogger and figured how to turn off anonymous commenting. Lo and behold, the blog spam ceased.
Sadly, though, I fully expect the blog spam will return when more sophisticated 'bots' are developed to log on to Blogger with bogus user accounts. When that time comes, expect to see another flurry of deleted comments.
Of even greater concern, though, is the impending invasion of spit, which I recently learned is the spam equivalent for voice-over-IP. Over the last several months, the percentage of my phone calls involving Skype has steadily increased to the point where it probably represents 10% of my conversations. What a nightmare it will be when Skype starts ringing randomly throughout the day because some spammer figures out how to program a 'bot' to make a VOIP call.
I just hope anti-spam leaders like Postini and Ciphertrust are already working hard on solutions to the next round of spam wars.