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Blogger.com Reacts to Spam Blogs and Comments

Posted By Darren Rowse 21st of August 2005 Blogging Tools and Services 0 Comments

Blogger at last seems to be doing something about the rise of Spam Blogs and Comment spam on Blogger.com blogs with two new features – a “Flag” button which allows readers to report questionable content to Blogger and Word Verification for Comments which aims to attack comment spam (optional feature). Hopefully these help – I guess they rely completely upon users using them – but it’s a step in the right direction.

Source (via Kurt)

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Darren,

    Does this not sound a little like AOL’s ” Report As Spam ” button ?

    As someone who has multiple, double opt in lists, I can say that if it works like AOL’s button, it’s a step in the wrong direction.

    What AOL has enabled people to do is report a newsletter that they had to verify that they wanted to opt in to as spam as easy as hitting the delete button.

    If it’s not gonna have any penalty for the person who falsely reports a blog, it goes against “innocent until proven guilty”.

    And before anyone flames me, I own NO spam blogs. I hate them. We have original content on all 9 of ours and they are all hand built.

    How hard would it be for google or any other engine to trace the spam blogs by footprint and have them reviewed by a human or two ? Give me their profits for a couple of years and I can find a way to curb these hell hole blogs. How about making the poster verify their post by email ? With the little cute numbers in the image ? Pretty damn easy, I’d say, and I don’t have their resources or their diplomas.

    This is one of the reasons I’m starting a new blog, based on common sense ways to fix what education has broken. It’s almost ready and I’ll be attacking stupid, educated fixes of what could have been done easily with common sense. Sales, marketing, advertising, customer service, whatever…you mess it up, I’ll fix it with common sense and a dash of pissiness.

    Sorry to rant a little too much and get a wee bit off topic.

  2. As I wrote in a blog entry, this is really more for flagging offensive material. They call it “Flag as Objectionable” not “Flag as Spam”. It really is a tiny step towards fighting spam.

  3. Blogger has already made it obvious that it does not concern itself with spam blogs. On August 19, it announced that flagging means nothing. It said very clearly that no action is or will ever be taken against blogs flagged as inappropriate. It will merely not put it up on their “Recently updated” list which nobody ever checks. Some measure, huh?

    Blogger: Hey look at us, we care about spam blogs. Not!

  4. Actually, Blogger says here that flagged spam blogs may be removed and the accounts deleted. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they actually do it. Just to help ’em out, I spent a few minutes using the Blogger Navbar and flagged about a half dozen spam blogs.

  5. […] Blogger.com Reacts to Spam Blogs and Comments Finally, some way to notify Blogger of these link farms. I am not sure how effective/proactive they will be about complaints, but it sure is a step in the right direction.   […]

  6. I like the option to add a word box before a comment can be made. That weeds out machines.

    I am wary of the “report objectionable content” flag. When I saw it, my first thought was that it was a censorship tab. It seems like it is intended to report blogs that have explicit content. Blogger’s explaination makes it seem like that also. If a blog is flagged, it will be delisted so that people can’t use the surf bar to find it.


  7. Sounds like the ‘flag’ button is just waiting to be abused. What’s to stop people from using feature to attack their competitors? Nothing. I really can’t see any good coming from this unless they go over ever report by hand. But given the number of blogs out there, I would imagine that this would have to be largely automated.


  8. Any good solution is going to involve human intervention at some level, whether it’s fixing machine errors that falsely flag a blog as spam or . Turning the first step over to users and letting it run from there seems appropriate to me. Contrary to one comment above, they are saying a blog is innocent until proven guilty or at least until a human being claims otherwise to start the process of proof.

  9. Tom,

    What I said was ” If it’s not gonna have any penalty for the person who falsely reports a blog, it goes against “innocent until proven guilty”. Innocent until proven guilty is a theme that needs no further intros from someone with limited verbal skills like me.

    It takes the whole post to make a little sense, but what I said and meant was, don’t give people a way to push a button to accuse somebody of spam without there being some way to track them and punish them if they are repeatedly wrong or malicious. When there is no way to hold them accountable, most idiots will be idiots. Where there is no accountability, there is no justice. It gives people, people who might just be incredibly stupid, immature and/or just damn mean, way too much power. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    The image box to confirm the post is an easy way to alleviate a lot of those damn spam blogs.

    I’m sure you, coming from an area that prides itself on common sense can agree with both of those points.

  10. Sorry Mike. I wasn’t necessarily disagreeing with the gist of your post. Obviously there ought to be consequences to illegitimate flagging. I’m just more comfortable with the process starting with a human flag than starting with a machine decision and then spending months trying to convince Google their bot screwed up.

  11. […] The Reaction; Pointed to by many including Darren Rowse and Duncan Riley. […]

  12. Hey Tom,

    Did you see Chrispian’s post today about this already being a problem ?

  13. Blogger cracking down on Spam like blogs

    Blogger is finally going to take steps to get rid of the junk blogs that are poluting everything that is good about weblogs. Even though it may be only a half measure at this point, we all have to start somewhere. Blogger.com Reacts to Spam Blogs and C…

  14. […] Feeling as if it is following a natural progression Darren points to Google’s Reaction To Spam Blogs and Comments where Google has instituted their Flag Button which “allows the blogging community to easily note questionable content, which in turn helps us take action when needed” and Word Verification For Comments. All of which may be to blame for this: BloggerBowling. (I just noticed something very interesting to me in this reference, a comment by John at Syntagma saying that Google might “even offer an alternative paid service for the legit blogs.” Funny, I had some thoughts along the same lines recently) […]

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