If you blog, you no doubt already are aware of the huge problem that blog spam represents. Few of us who have been at it for any period of time haven’t had the awakening moment of logging into our blog to find we’ve got 200 or more new comments, all about teen boy sex or viagra. The same problem exists for forums, and it’s often worse there.
These are automated comments which have been posted by a mindless bot someone unleashed to help increase their SEO efforts.
So the other day I noticed a post asking for information about a product called XRumer. A really novel approach – as most bloggers or forum administrators (the same problem exists there) would probably google up and answer and post it. Then the clowns got an inbound link of relatively high value, as it is in the proper context.
From the Xrumer site:
The system is fully user-independent and requires minimum skills to handle: you only need to choose the proper links database, create a message text with one or several hyperlinks and hit the ‘Start’ button. THAT IS ALL.
But here’s the kicker:
In no way XRumer acts like a spam-bot since spam is defined in legislation as ‘unsolicited email’, whereas XRumer simply posts messages created by users, which cannot be illegal providing the user does not violate the legislation by provoking racial hatred or anything prohibited by the law. Besides, in most cases XRumer is smart enough to find sections like ‘Flood’, ‘Off topic’, ‘Flame’, ‘Chit-chat’ where advertising takes place with the permission from moderators and webmasters. XRumer is not an email spam bomber and should not be confused with such software. The laws of USA, Russia, Canada, Spain, Germany, France and other countries explicitly state the illegal nature of email spam which XRumer has nothing to do with.
A pox on your house, XRumer…
If this isn’t illegal now, it needs to be outlawed. This is the sort of thing crap that is bringing the Internet to it’s knees. Also, despite their protestations that it is illegal and “free speech,” they offer no physical address, which is generally a sign of someone trying to avoid litigation. I have literally spent hours deleting crap generated by this and other programs like it. And I can assure you it is not free speech if I am forced to pay the hosting fees and bandwidth for them to post their drivel.
At Reel-Time, I’ve finally had to resort to moderating all new users for their first 10 posts – any off topic junk and they get banned. It’s at least keeping the stuff off the forum, and denying them even a moment of benefit.
(By the way, my blog spam filter caught 43 spam comments between last night and this morning.)