Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam...
Today, we had the most wonderful bit of comment spam on our blog post ‘Is Someone Spying On Your Mobile Phone Calls?’. And when we say ‘wonderful’, we mean poorly written, completely unwelcome and destined for removal.
Coming from someone claiming to be called ‘wellen wellen’, it was an extended advertisement for illegal hacking services, which began:
“IF YOU NEED A GENUINE PROFESSIONAL HACKING SERVICE, PLEASE CONTACT: [email address removed]
“These are groups of professional hackers beyond human imagination ... they evaluate all databases without traces ...”
Bold claims indeed – especially the bit about hackers beyond human imagination. What if we imagine them as cyborgs with quantum computer brains and the ability to time travel? Are they beyond that? We’ll never know, of course, because it’s beyond our imagination.
Anyhow, the ad went to promise, “Your services are 100% guaranteed with its untraceable penetration software offering the following services”. It then went on to list a whole bunch of illegal acts, including (with original grammatical errors intact):
- Unlimited blank card and credit card for 2 years
-Clears Bad Driving
Victim Tracking Locations
-We credit the account with an advance credit card
-Western Union MTCN and Moneygram Hack
- Website Card Hacking
- Change of university changes
-Erase Criminal Records Hack
-Grade changes changes
-Website fell hack
-server crashed hack
- Database Hacking
-Word Press Blogs Hack
Individual computers hack
Hacker Control Devices Remotely
Numbers -Burner Hack
Paypal Verified Accounts
-Any social media account
-Android and iPhone Hack
Text message capture
- credit card for free online transactions
You will never regret any of your services .: [email address removed]
Apart from the illegality of these services, there are a couple of other problems with Mr or Mrs wellen’s ad – like the offer of a ‘Witters Hack’ and a ‘Website fell hack’, which we’re fairly sure do not exist beyond a reality inhabited solely by the writer of this comment. In fact, Googling either of these terms will just show you the many other places this exact spam text has been posted in other blog comment sections.
And ‘You will never regret any of your services’? Not likely. We already regret having read this terrible comment (and subsequently writing this blog post about it).
So why have we given time to this ridiculous bit of spam? Because as funny as it is, it’s not something you should simply ignore. It’s not just that the services on offer are illegal; the fact is spam comments of any kind are bad for your business if they appear on your blog. Why? Because they can discourage engagement. If someone visits your website and sees a load of spam comments on your posts, they may not feel it’s worth contributing their comment to the discussion. It can also potentially hurt your search engine rankings.
How you deal with spam comments is important too. Deleting them seems like an obvious choice, but it’s not actually recommended unless it’s your only option. If possible, you should mark them as spam instead, if your content management system allows for that, because that will help to filter out similar spam comments in future.
One problem you might face is that it’s not always easy to identify spam comments. They generally exist to improve search engine visibility for the commenters and their services, so often you’ll find they try to fly under the radar by being plausibly genuine. They’ll usually say something generic like “Great article. Keep up the good work”, but sometimes, they’ll actually reference your blog post in very loose terms – for example: “Great article on cyber security. Thanks!” In such cases, it’s difficult to say whether these are spam or genuine comments. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make a decision either way, but it might be best to play safe in such cases and leave comments like this where they are.
You might also consider using a plugin to automatically filter and moderate comments if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Failing that, the best solution could be to simply disable comments entirely. If audience engagement isn’t one of the aims of your website, it’s definitely worth thinking about.
What you shouldn't do is just wave it off as an insignificance. Sure, if your blog gets hundreds of a comments a day, the real ones will drown out the fakes, but for smaller businesses that often isn't an option.