We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogs for this piece on ... spam. Or phishing, or malware, or whatever it is when posts are made with no good intention.
So, this is for the Google police, or for the cyberworld authorities who are supposed to stop the crap that appears on blogs or e-mails or, I suppose, even on Facebook.
I have written the people at Google, which is where this blog is facilitated (or not facilitated) to report this spam, but I might as well have been writing the people on Mars.
My blog has lived in Spam City, in Spam County, in the country of Spamland, since almost the first publication.
Some fool out there, someone with nothing to do and with no redeeming value, has been posting "comments" on every blog piece I've done for almost a year and a half. Some days it might be one or two comments, but other days by the dozen -- or more. These came in the "anonymous" category, but obviously were from the same source.
All had some innocuous message, obviously pre-prepared, and always -- always -- with a link to "see my web site." They all, each of them, contained bull-spit.
Just a week ago, there were 77 comments in six days ... yes, I counted. None showed up on the blog itself because I have changed the settings.
Here are some examples of the "anonymous" comments ...
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Like I said, stupid. And then there were the ones in hieroglyphics, or some foreign language.
The next time I open one of these links will be the first time. It hasn't happened, and it won't. And hopefully, when one of these stupid comments got through on my blog, no one else tried a link.
It was pretty obvious to anyone with any sense that this was spam, and it was easy for me to find the delete key to do away with them.
This was happening because I left the "comments" portion open for anyone. I welcome feedback, positive or negative, because if you offer commentary, you should expect some in return, whether you like it or not.
It made me wonder if other blogs were receiving the same treatment. My guess is yes.
When I checked with another blogger or two, the recommendation -- which I took -- was to change the setting for comments to "awaiting moderation." This would notify me by e-mail when a commend needed verification.
This only intensified this person's determination to mess up the blog. The first couple of days after I switched the setting, I received at least 15 "comments" a day.
And on the first day after the switch, one post left no doubt that this was deliberately done. It read, "When you switch to the 'awaiting moderation' mode, you will find that you will receive three copies of every notice in your e-mail ..."
These "comments" didn't seem to be harmful, as long as the links weren't opened. But they were certainly annoying.
Maybe -- and I'm guessing here -- the person posting these is making money from it, or hoping to, by buying or selling these links. Don't know. If someone can educate me, or knows how to report this to have something done about it, please let me know.
For now, I have changed the settings so that to comment on a blog, you must be a blog "member," again through Google. Many people don't want to do that, which is fine. If you want to comment on one of my blog posts, send me an e-mail or put the comment on my blog link on Facebook.
The good news is that by switching the setting to make it as private as possible, the flow of "anonymous" comments (and e-mail notifications) has stopped entirely.
I don't miss them; my delete key can use the rest. And the blog is happy to move out of Spam City.