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Splogs Clog Blog Services

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the like-LDLs dept.

Spam 241

SuperWebTech writes "A new generation of spam has emerged lately in the form of automatically-created spam blogs, or "splogs." One wily programmer manipulated Blogger's API to create a "spamalanche" of thousands of blogs whose sole purpose was to increase their real sites' pagerank. This clogged search engine results while filling RSS feed services with useless listings. Though Google, Blogger's owner, is doing its best to fix the problem, in the meantime several services have stopped listing any site they host. So far nobody has found a solution."

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241 comments

Well let's get old fashioned (1, Insightful)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863908)

So far nobody has found a solution.

Use the same solution you do in the real world when a person or group starts spouting off nonsensical crap.

Ignore them.

P.S. stop relying on google so much, PageRank is obviously flawed if it can be so easily manipulated by spamtards.

Re:Well let's get old fashioned (4, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864150)

P.S. stop relying on google so much, PageRank is obviously flawed if it can be so easily manipulated by spamtards.

Do you have any alternate search engines (preferably with examples to prove that they're actually better) to use instead of google? I've tested out all the big names, and the results I get are almost always near-identical, with the small differences in the results returned not being that important.

It is extremely frustrating when Google returns nothing useful, but I've yet to find a search engine that works better. Google's level of results seems to be the best anyone can achieve at the moment (and it's not really google that's setting the level of excellence).

Not only that (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864198)

This isn't even a real problem, if you think about. I tried to go to blog I know about recently and I got a bunch of so-called "spam" (ads) instead of the blog content. So I checked it out and I was able to book a great vacation deal from a discount airliner. Hey, if you guys want to stop them from offering great vacation deals, go ahead. I personally like the savings.

PageRank's fatal assumption (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864205)

PageRank appears to assume that each link is made independently of the target site. These splogs and other SEO tricks violate that assumption when commercially linked entities create links to each other's sites. Biasing the vote of a link based on some site credibility measure only helps slightly as automation lets sloggers create massive numbers of spurious links. With PageRank, its too easy to buy votes.

Google needs some mechanism judging if a link is a fair link (made by an independent person/process) or "bought" link created by on on behalf of the same site that being linked to. I'd bet if Google analyzed these splogs and other SEO-generated sites, they'd find an excessive number of links from the splog to the target (or other in-network splogs) but few links from the splog to other relevant sites. Perhaps Google should reweight sites that seem to focus too many links in one direction. Of course, this is only a temporary solution as SEOs/sploggers could just use Google to find a set of random, but relevant, links to add to their splog.

The deeper problem is that no matter what Google does, some clever SEO will find a way around it. And since sites seeking to be at the top of the search out number Google engineers by a wide margin, the SEOs would seem to have the advantage. The only group with greater numbers than the SEOs are Google users. I suspect the ultimate solution will mean social ranking systems where each Google user gets to rank pages and have a reputation for page ranking. The user reputation system would mitigate attempts by SEOs to either up-rank their pages or down-rank competitor's pages.

Re:PageRank's fatal assumption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864483)

And the next step would be: buy Google users, or easier (ATM) infect their computers with Trojans that do the work. Blog spam / guestbook spam already seems to come via Trojans.

How to tell the diff. between Blogs and Splogs: (-1, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863910)

Splogs are actually selling something that people might find usefull.

Re:How to tell the diff. between Blogs and Splogs: (-1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863948)

selling something that people might find usefull.

Like maybe Hooked on Phonics?

Re:How to tell the diff. between Blogs and Splogs: (0)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864011)

Maybe you should look up the definition of "phonics".

a method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning the phonetic value of letters, letter groups, and especially syllables

Hooked on Phonics would not teach you the difference between "useful" and "usefull".

It's a typo, you tool. (-1, Offtopic)

FatSean (18753) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864141)

I only have breaks of a few minutes in which to post on slashdot. I prefer to ensure the concepts are trasmitted, rather than be a grammar/vocabulary pedant such as yourself. Perhaps if you learned a decent skill, rather than pushing your shitty 'game site', you would have a job like mine that pays well and keeps you busy?

Re:It's a typo, you tool. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864176)

Maybe he has both? Maybe he has all of the above, a trophy wife, a yacht, an exclusive membership at the local country club, 2 mistresses and a wine cellar that would make an alcoholic explode. And what's more, he also has a grasp on proper spelling. And, even with all these things, he still manages to not be a total douchebag.

Sure does make you look like a self-important fucktard, doesn't it?

Re:It's a typo, you tool. (0, Offtopic)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864262)

The funny thing is that I wasn't even responding to your post. My post was in response to sethadam1's. Toodles.

Re:How to tell the diff. between Blogs and Splogs: (0, Offtopic)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864376)

Hooked on Phonics would not teach you the difference between "useful" and "usefull".

Maybe you should look at the definition again. "Useful" and "Usefull" are phonetically identical (to English speakers). Hooked on Phonics would not teach any difference between the two spellings.

When you're trying to insult people through ridiculous pedantry, at least be right.

Re:How to tell the diff. between Blogs and Splogs: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13863953)

Turning off the computer/having it assplode and going outside in the sunlight?

Username trend? (4, Interesting)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863918)

Anyone else notice that every username in the video is [letters]-[numbers].blogspot.com.

Maybe start by disabling new blogs.
Flag all usernames that meet that basic regex criteria.
Hand filter that bunch.
Add the same captcha you have on your comment system to the posting system.
Re-enable registration.

Seems kind of elementary, doesn't it? Why not try it?

Re:Username trend? (5, Insightful)

De Lemming (227104) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864013)

Flag all usernames that meet that basic regex criteria.

With all the efforts spammers do to avoid baisian filtering on e-mail, don't you think they will change their username format to something else half an hour after you implement this regex? Probably to something more variable (and dictionary based).

Hand filter that bunch.

And hand filtering thousands of blogs which are created automatically does not seem feasible...

Re:Username trend? (1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864072)

don't you think they will change their username format to something else half an hour after you implement this regex?

Yes, but they'll have to contend with the captcha system, which is far more difficult. The name pattern is just to id the initial set to review, not a permanent thing.

And hand filtering thousands of blogs which are created automatically does not seem feasible...

Bah. Google has plenty of cash. They could hire temps to do it and knock it out in a few days.

Re:Username trend? (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864346)

The catpcha system is an interesting problem but not insurmountable. The third-world anti-captcha sweatshop seems like a pretty tricky thing to circumvent.

...advertising also has the advantage of placement v.s. cost. They can charge more to advertise if the medium is more expensive to advertise in.

Re:Username trend? (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864043)

Well, that'll work today. Then tomorrow the sploggers* will catch on and use more complex names, and Blogger will be stuck with that now-useless cruft forever.

* I hate most blogoneologisms, but kind of like this one. Can we look forward to splogcasts in the future?

Splogs? Seriously wtf (5, Funny)

ponds (728911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863922)

With the Splogosphere maturing, we can expect to see Splogcasts in the near future.

Re:Splogs? Seriously wtf (0)

theantipop (803016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863972)

It's ok. It's hard to create a new buzzword these days. Acronymns are old news. For example, which sounds better: PIN or Perdenum? I rest my case.

Re:Splogs? Seriously wtf (4, Funny)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864040)

On a similar note, I think "Splogs Clog Blog Logs" would be a much better title.

There should be an annual Seuss day where all article titles must be tongue twisters, and all summaries must be done in nonsensical rhyme.

Re:Splogs? Seriously wtf (1, Funny)

tezbobobo (879983) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864145)

Reminds me of time I ate to much ham shoulder. Doctor say, "Spam caused bog clog." Needed enema.

Re:Splogs? Seriously wtf (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864378)

And they forgot to end the article summary with the obligatory: is this the beginning of the end for blogging?

Maybe mentioning Google trumps the need for ominous speculation.

It's Obvious Day at Slashdot (0)

AEton (654737) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863926)

Google, Blogger's owner, is doing its best to fix the problem

Really? I hadn't heard [slashdot.org] :p

Re:It's Obvious Day at Slashdot (2, Insightful)

KidHash (766864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864007)

That story is about comment spam, where as this is about people creating spam blogs

In case you still can't see, that makes the two things completely different..

Not Even a New Problem (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864315)

That story is about comment spam, where as this is about people creating spam blogs

Spam in blogs isn't even new. I've seen short comments, best wishes, etc. on blogs for the last couple years, which are then followed by a plug, something like the following:

That's a very interesting point you have raised and deserves great consideration. You might also want to consider visiting my vitamin and supplements site at www.vitacrap.com/~jimbob
Allowing HTML as part of a post is pretty much asking for it.

So far nobody has found a solution. (1)

archeopterix (594938) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863927)

And yet... a default of ref=nofollow [blogspot.com] for all user links seems to be a good start. Ok, ok, inconvenient, valuable links will be lost forever, yada, yada, yada. Only until a better solution is found and even until then it's better than the spam hell.

Re:So far nobody has found a solution. (1)

Hynee (774168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864100)

How would useful links be lost forever? Yeah, they wouldn't have their PageRank increased, whereas by rights they should be counted if they are a truly useful and relevant link entered by a blog responder, but at least the URL is out there, and the link will find its way into non-blog reply pages (without the rel="nofollow" attribute).

Re:So far nobody has found a solution. (1)

dragon_imp (685750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864438)

Blocking links in "user links" doesn't work -- the story is about spam blogs, not comment-spam on blogs.

These guys have figured out how to leverage a few carefully chosen lines of code into a hughe moneymaker. Or, it will be until Google figures out how to block the automation.

Hint: Google -- try changing the interface -- that ought to break the program for a while. Require visual confirmations. Require "enter your valid email and click on the link we send you. Try any of the techniques used by any everyday forum software to block automated postings. Who knows -- they might work for you, too!

Word verification? (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863938)

Wouldn't a simple word verification requirement when creating a blog cure this? I don't think many people would bother creating "thousands" of new splogs if they knew they needed to manually enter in user data for each one... why should you even be able to start up a blog using an API?

Blogger already requires word verification for posting comments (if the blog admin turns it on) - am I missing something or would this also work to at least alleviate the splog problem too?

IP address/domain-name checking? (3, Interesting)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864028)

They could always randomly generate text from dictionaries to beat the word verification. But no 'splogger' is going to buy up thousands of IPs or domain names for their clever little scam. Figure in the IP or domain name to the pagerank. Maybe if most of the links are from the same IP then take a percentage off its score? This percentage co-efficient could even be derived from the textual context of the links.. if the context is the same (like the scores of mirrored Wikipedia articles, to name one example), then lower the co-efficient.

Re:IP address/domain-name checking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864116)

And how is google going to know what IP sent a message to a blog? The problem isn't that blog A has 1000 listings from sploghost.com, but rather that 1000 blogs have 1 listing from sploghost.com. If the blog owners don't record the IP of the submitter and post it on the blog, then how can google get this info?

Re:Word verification? (5, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864045)

Wouldn't a simple word verification requirement when creating a blog cure this?

Yes and no. CAPTCHAs solve the problem for things like Slashdot, where you just have to worry about trolls with too much time on their hands. But when it comes to spam, there's a value to beating them, so what some enterprising spammers do is set up porn sites that tell people "enter the word you see here and get free porn!". Lots of horny geeks do the spammers' work for them. The difference between the two scenarios is that the spammers are willing to pay minute amounts to beat the CAPTCHAs, but the trolls aren't.

Re:Word verification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864453)

But then, wouldn't something like mod_rewrite be useful to stop the images being loaded on those porn sites?

Re:Word verification? -broken allready ! (1)

SuneSpeg (662034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864209)

Word verification has been broken allready, by crosslinking the image to a website.
That way naive users *THINK* they decipher a WV image on the current website, while they infact have done the owner of the website a favor and read the scrambled image from google ,and given the spammer a valueable information.

Often in return for pictures of people with alzheimers that forgot to put clothes on.

Word verification is obsolete (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864223)

Word verification is obsolete.
  • Programs have been written that can successfully decode capchas most of the time. It turns out not to be too hard to modify OCR programs to do this.
  • Word verification can be outsourced to third world countries at low cost.
  • Most cleverly, word verification can outsourced to users of your porno sites, who have to type in soneone else's capcha to get free pictures.

All these approaches are in active use.

Re:Word verification? (3, Informative)

Myself (57572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864254)

If someone's willing to pay for a higher search ranking, the spammer can pay humans to beat the CAPTCHAs. I can see it now, a sweatshop in a low-wage country with hundreds of workers monotonously typing in the text from the skewed and scrambled images.

There's also PWNTcha, a CAPTCHA decoder. [zoy.org] (Previously slashdotted.)

Re:Word verification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864290)

In my recent experience, they (Blogspot) have been springing CAPCHAs on the actual article-submission page now and then. This may be triggered by spammy-looking content -- and the vast majority of my blog entries look spammy because I document my incoming spam that way! I defang any HTML HREFs, though, so it's not like I'm deliberately contributing to the pagerank problem. My main reason for posting spam in the blog is so that people who wonder "is this spam?" and search for the spam text can find "yep -- I got it too -- and it's evil, so don't believe anything it says."

Meanwhile, I'm twiddling my thumbs and writing extra bull here because Slashdot insists I'm not allowed to submit this because it's only been fifteen minutes since my last posting. I'm going to give up on the idea of posting here -- life's too short for this crap.

Solutions are dwindling... (0, Troll)

brewer13210 (821462) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863942)

I'm usually not an advocate of violence, but it seems the effective options of how to deal with the spammers is ever dwindling. I imagine after the knee-caps (or heads) of some of these spammers have been split, the problem may quickly go away.

They deserve it (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13863943)

Any trend that has added so much crap to the English language deserves what it gets. After reading the "words" blog, splogsplosion, splog, and spamalanche, I must take a shower.

Re:They deserve it (1)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864194)

On a serious note, while no search engine should just give away their secrets (if they want to stay popular anyway), I think the mystique that is "Page Rank" (spooky echo) has sort of made Google semi-responsible for a lot of the spam on the net. Do you see anyone making stupid pages (and words) like slogs to exploit Yahoo's results? How about MSN?

Heck, I'm a web developer for a company getting regular complaints that my efforts aren't giving the company site a better PR, and I have to explain that it could take months for any differences to manifest. In this kind of environment, I can easily conceive self-proclaimed SEO 'experts' touting to optimize a site for Google, get paid and leave. When no results show up in 4-6 months "I'm sorry, Google just announced that they changed their page rank system to combat spam pages and links. (Ha ha, you paid me to do something that becomes irrelevant when Google updates their server/engine)"

The struggle to be king of the PR mountain has brought about many corrupt things. Silly words that belong in a children's book being pretty low in that pile.

And this should be a surprise because.... (0)

scronline (829910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863955)

We've already seen how well google handles spamvertising. Google search has become almost completely worthless for the average user, and difficult at best for an advanced user because there's so many "black hat" sites that hit the first page and they haven't been able to anything about that, why would it be any different for other product/services they offer.

So far nobody has found a solution. (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863956)

> Though Google, Blogger's owner, is doing its best to fix the problem, in the
> meantime several services have stopped listing any site they host. So far nobody
> has found a solution."

What do you mean? That's the perfect solution!

This is what Google Blogs if for... (4, Insightful)

michaelzhao (801080) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863957)

Google has recently announced an idea that would benefit bloggers. The idea is to have a separate blog search similar to sites like "Technorati". At first glance, this benefits bloggers. However, it benefits Google even more. By having Blog searches separate, they can significantly cut down on Google-Bombing. Google-Bombing really screws with their search algorithms.

I think this may be the beginning of a wholehearted launch of "Google Blog". This issue has also been reported on the "TWiT Podcast" hosted by Leo Laporte. I can't remember which episode number it is, but if you search iTunes podcasts database, you should be able to find it.

Example of Google-Bombing. Go to Google and search "Miserable Failure" and hit "I Feel Lucky". Regardless of what your opinions are. That type of behavior is still wrong.

Re:This is what Google Blogs if for... (1)

Jupix (916634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864200)

I think this may be the beginning of a wholehearted launch of "Google Blog".

Bloogle?

Re:This is what Google Blogs if for... (1)

Mr_Icon (124425) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864368)

There's some very powerful irony in the fact that by clicking on "I feel lucky" you get to "George W Bush".

OG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13863959)

I'll die proud and stubborn before I use those stupid words.

Same for the IEC units of data storage. The fact that googling 'mebibyte'* brings up wikipedia as the first link should tell you something. Any schmoe can rewrite history and give you a wiki link to back himself up.

* Oops! Won't happen again.

Splogs? Fo' real? (-1, Offtopic)

tommut (123314) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863966)

Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me. "Splogs"? I refuse to ever use that term. It's gone too far this time!

Though I said the same thing about "blogosphere", but that doens't appear to be going away anytime soon either.

Wily programmer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13863970)

When one can't come up with ways to contribute something useful (much harder), is this the result?

Managed RSS feeds are more interesting (2, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863971)

i.e., Artima's Ruby Buzz [artima.com] and Java Buzz [artima.com] , Planet PostgreSQL [planetpostgresql.org] and so forth.

Of course, those become less valuable when folks add RSS feeds that aren't specific to the topic, so that Java posts show up in the Ruby feeds and all that. That can be tricky too, though; does this post [blogs.com] go under Jabber or PostgreSQL? Dunno.

Capcha? (2, Interesting)

wren337 (182018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863975)

Isn't this the kind of automation prevention problem that capchas can solve reasonably well? Put image-text verificaiton on each step of creating or appending to a blog. If nothing else it will slow them down. Am I missing something?

Re:Capcha? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864165)

It pisses off legitimate users and is no good for disabled people/lynx zealots. I've had to use the insecure bookmarked-login thing to read /. lately.

Re:Capcha? (2, Informative)

Cramer (69040) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864307)

Capchas don't solve anything. 90% of them are easily decoded by software. (Software made them, software can decode them.) And as others love to point out, there are ways to get actual people to decode them for you. [However, I've never seen actual evidence of one of the "pr0n traps".]

The only thing that appears to work is charging for new accounts. Yes, it's annoying. Yes, it will drive some, otherwise legit, people away (because they don't use online payment systems, etc., etc.) And yes, it's a hassle for the site. But, aside from stolen credit cards, there's no getting around it. (And very few spammers are willing to commit credit card fraud to increase their pagerank.)

Please Type the characters that you see on this... (3, Funny)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863977)

picture, print that document out, attach it with your photo ID, and fax it to (800) Goo-gle1

Re:Please Type the characters that you see on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864023)

Nah. Enter it into your cellphone and send a text message to Google (or whatever Google has you do for a GMail account these days). The number you send it to could even be in a separate capcha, for extra visual pain and opportunity for mistake.

Charitable donation (5, Interesting)

Honkytonkwomen (718287) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863979)

Simple: Just require a small donation to charity (through Paypal?) before they can create a blog. A dollar or two shouldn't matter to anyone who's putting up a real blog, but will deter sploggers.

Re:Charitable donation (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864087)

Keep in mind that not everyone has access to paypal/online payment forms : I -do- like your idea though, as, what you said, 2 dollars for a 'lifetime subscription' wouldn't matter much.

Re:Charitable donation (1)

mikeboone (163222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864101)

Then the splog people would just get connected with the phishing people (if they haven't already). They'll clean out someone's Paypal account and post a few hundred splogs. :(

Re:Charitable donation (2, Insightful)

gid (5195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864320)

But at if they clean out someone's paypal account, then the spamming turns into a real crime that can be punished. I'd bet some spammers aren't yet ready to upgrade to outright stealing.

Re:Charitable donation (2, Insightful)

sinserve (455889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864158)

Money is traceable, and not many internet users want to be traced. [insert obvious Freedom-Fighter argument here].

Couple of solutions? (4, Interesting)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863991)

How about a spider-readable timestamp for blogs? If 5,000 new blogs pop up within 12 hours of each other linking to the same web page it is an obvious red flag.

On top of this, once again the hosting services need to be held responsible: if a site is hosting an obviously spamvertised site then give them 24 hours to remove the site or be blocked from future indexing activities - and have current rankings deleted.

Block the advertised sites, not the spam. (1)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864464)

It sounds like you could use that suggestion to deliberately get your competitors delisted from google by spamming links to their site in blogs.

Dangerous.

Damn Blog Hogs, Go swim in a Bog (5, Funny)

slicer622 (579305) | more than 8 years ago | (#13863994)

I feel like I'm in a fog, without a seeing eye dog. What a sog! Burninate, Trog! Jeremiah was a bullfrog, but there was a server backlog. And that was just the prologue. Later we took a jog to get some egg nog. Just make sure to oil the cog. I know its a slog, but its better than smog. Thats the end of this log.

Re:Damn Blog Hogs, Go swim in a Bog (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864025)

Well, I'm agog.

Fake Blogger blogs ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864008)

... started showing up as having linked to my blog in my WordPress Dashboard. I did two things. First, I disabled comments completely. Then I contacted Blogger via the button on each fake blog marking it as something they needed to review. Problem solved. Just my two cents.

a new low-point, but who cares? (2, Interesting)

Ahaldra (534852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864029)

Automatic creation of blogger accounts. Now that's even one step more than the already rediculus blog and ping automator [aardtek.net] from the guy believed to be the one spamming boingboing's comment form [boingboing.net] .
I seriously wonder if the DMCA's or other *AA laws couldn't be used to subpoena the ISP of these guys to get their real addresses. For some reason I doubt they are that many people in the spam and "search engine optimization" business.

How do you tell the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864036)

Filtering spam e-mail is hard enough, but things get impossible when you try to filter spam blogs.

1) "Gwen Stefani rocks, like, totally!!!!1!!! O_O"

2) "When will the Mainstream media finally accept that bloggers and the blogosphere will make them all obsolete!!!! Nobody needs those idiots! The MSM are irrelevant! BTW, did you read in the NYT what this guy said on CNN last week about the WaPo? It was also on Fox News last night, but I didn't pay attention cause I was busy listening to Stern bashing Newsweek"

3) "New V!4gra Soft7tabs free!"

Any correct filtering algorithm would just delete them all. Or at least tag them as redundant.

splogs clogs blogs shocker! (4, Funny)

capicu (880524) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864044)

That is the most Sun-like headline I've ever seen on slashdot. For those of you who aren't in the know about crappy British tabloids, The Sun [thesun.co.uk] * is like the most popular paper in the country, and I think owned by Darth Murdoch himself. They quite helpfully have pictures on their main page of recent headlines (flash), hence the link.

*Health warning: please shield your eyes whilst loading the site. The sudden visual impact of the Sun's website can cause severe disorientation, epileptic fits, vomiting, and in some cases death. Not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart conditions

They even quote you sometimes (3, Informative)

digitalgimpus (468277) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864064)

In hopes of not looking so spammy, they will take real blogs, and either copy the contents, or just key words (such as authors name and perhaps post title.

So when you search for something... spammers with your name come up, rather than yourself.

Spam or Cruft? (2, Funny)

nherc (530930) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864069)

Honestly, with everyone and their mom jumping on the blogging bandwagon and the general quality of said blogs approaching robot created jibberish, I honestly think the blog hosting companies are in for quite a struggle determining spam from cruft. Although, if their automated measures also wipe out some of these inane blogs as well perhaps the authors will get a hint and the blogsphere will be a better place AFTER the spammers arrived--imagine that.

splogs aren't the problem... (4, Informative)

ianmassey (743270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864084)

The problem surfaces when the "splogs" are used to comment spam and trackback spam legitimate blogs. It's through these links that PageRank is increased. If everyone starts proactively dealing with spam on their own sites, this problem will solve itself. MovableType users can upgrade to 3.2, which has spam blocking features, or use the great plugin MT-Blacklist. Either will eliminate this problem. An AC mentioned that WordPress has a similar set of options. I know that TypePad does. The only major blog service provider left to come up with a solution is Blogger, and in the interim you can require registration to post comments on your Blogger site or turn comments off entirely. LiveJournal and all the clones are blocked from trackback by 90% of normal blog sites already, so they don't even count.

Another poster suggested that we ignore this problem, and it will go away. Untrue. Ignoring the 600 spam comments a day is exactly what the spammers would prefer you do, so that they can stink up every site on the internet with their crap. We are fortunate that in the case of this "new" form of spam, the tools necessary to get rid of it are already there and effective, we just need to get them all turned on.

Posting restrictions (1)

Redwin (805980) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864097)

Why not limit how many posts an account can make in a day? Say 25 or something. If a legitimate user needs to do more than that they could fill in a keyword hidden in a picture, or something equally difficult for an automated system to figure out.

Captain Pitard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864106)

"So far nobody has found a solution."

Let's not. Let's blame the people, not the technology. And as the MPAA/RIAA show, technological solutions to problems don't work (but our do! Nay! Nay!). The spammers will simply pull a "Tor" on us, and get away.

this problem will not go away (0, Offtopic)

drDugan (219551) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864120)

people and machines
people are (biological) machines
machines emulating people
machines competing with people

within the next few years, computer interaction online and human interaction online will INCREASINGLY pass the sniff test as undifferentiable. a few years after that, there will clearly be no way to tell if online text is human or computer generated.

what I say is -- why stop it? why give moral preference to human thoughts vs. computer output? frankly, in most interactions, my expereince tells me to trust the silicon machines over the carbon ones.

Dang, that's a tuffy. (1, Funny)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864125)

Hmmm - keeping useless information from clogging the "blogosphere" has got to be one tough gig.

Right under the nose ? (1)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864189)

Ok, I'm a great fan of webservices - but this is blatant abuse. And it is clogging up search engines, right under the nose of our very own Google. They could implement some internal solution and work-around this right now. But who uses any other web search anyway.

I'd like to see what blogger throws up when you hit it with a user-agent as googlebot. Will it be different from what it churns out to the general public - Now and in the near future.

By the way... (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864236)

Why is everyone bashing blogs so hard? I know that most of the blogs are the rantings of 16-year-olds, but that's a gross generalization. A blog is a site you post on, and many sites fit that definition, including Slashdot, Maddox (who went on to bash blogs recently), and, well, most other sites.

Re:By the way... (1)

xWastedMindx (636296) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864385)

Everyone is _not_ bashing blogs, at least directly anyway. We're bashing Splogs, which are spam blogs (used for increasing page ranks of crap websites). We're also bashing spam comments, which are left in Blogs.

A blog is a site you post on, and many sites fit that definition, including Slashdot, Maddox (who went on to bash blogs recently), and, well, most other sites.

Now if this were true, almost every website on the internet would be a blog. In general, a Blog is a website set up in a Journalized fashion. Where users can submit information which is posted with date/time information and can also be commented on by other users(registered or not) See this page here [wikipedia.org] for a definition on blogs.

Re:By the way... (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864430)

We're bashing Splogs, which are spam blogs

I'm not referring to the article, I'm referring mostly to the comments. See how many of them are of the type "one cannot tell blogs and splogs apart" and "blogs should die".

Your definition is indeed better than mine, but still the examples I gave fit it. When people think of blogs they think of a girl that types "liek this omg ^_^" and the word blog still has that pejorative connotation. I agree that there is a lot of useless content on them, but most of you read blogs every day, and you know they're past that "omg" stage.

Advertising: Out of control (3, Insightful)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864304)

Is it just me, or is there way too much advertising these days? Radio is almost completely unlistenable to me since most stations play about 20 minutes of commercials each hour, TV has the same problem. Hell, even when you *pay* to get into a movie, you have to watch 20 mins of trailers for other movies, plus actual televeision ads!! Not to mention all the product placement in movies. Email is almost completely useless because of spam, and blogging is heading that way. Usenet was killed by spam years ago. Most of us here are using AdBlock and other techniques to reduce advertising on web sites. You can't even download shareware anymore without it coming bundled with ad-ware. And now I'm getting voice mail spam on my cell phone (any idea how frustrating it is to listen to a voice mail while in rush hour traffic, navigating the menus and stuff, since it might be a work or family emergency, only to find out it's spam?). Plus I can't even drive on the highway without being bombarded with billboard ads, not to mention that every car in front of me has a nice little manufacturers ad glued to the bumper. And then there's Google style ads -- little text only blurbs that are related to your search (or gmail content). These are even more insideous, since they're harder to filter out.

Sorry for the rant, but this is all just becomming too much, and it's only getting worse. Are we as a society willing to accept this in the name of free services?

Re:Advertising: Out of control (2, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864467)

"Are we as a society willing to accept this in the name of free services?"

This isn't even necessarily part of receiving a free service. Just look at the examples you cited, did you pay to go to the movies? So why do you have to pay to see ads? I truly doubt that the cost is being held down for you by the ads, more likely it is just extra profit for the theaters at your expense.

so is stileproject.com a splog site? (1)

British (51765) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864373)

Look on the site. It is 99% advertising to porn sites only semi-cleverly disguised as "blogger"-like content. The rest of the site is porn banners.

And of course he uses deceptive advertising. Clicking on the occasional link to a free .wmv file actually redirects you to yet another porn site.

Of course, I can't even remember the last time it had any original written content. Just gross pictures.

You know why this happens? (0, Redundant)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864396)

Because PageRank sucks and has done for years. It worked for about a year until rigging it became a financially rewarding activity and since then it has served no purpose.

If Google could at least exclude blogs from the main index it might help a bit but in the long run PageRank is a dead duck.

TWW

Guestbooks are been spammed too!! (1)

erasmix (880448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13864445)

Over the last few weeks I have been finding spam messages with advertising on the visitor's guestbook of my personal website. This is an absolute disgrace!! Isn't there a way to fight back? Flod the companies that are been advertised with traffic? Or flod the IP addresses where the spam is comming from so they cannot spam?

why not just call them clogs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13864451)

i've seen people call them splogs for spam blogs, but wouldn't a better word for all commercial blogs and advertising/spam blogs be clogs?

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