WordPress is pretty good at weeding out the rubbish that hits any blog, indeed improved filtering and detection programmes have meant that the amount of spam appearing here is much reduced. It is in effect pretty dull, though irritating stuff. If I wanted Viagra, a loan or to buy a specific item I am not sure an advert on someone’s blog would point me to where I would buy it. The spam that arrives in emails is also pretty much filtered out, it has also reduced markedly in recent months. I guess some people are persuaded to send thousands of pounds to Nigeria, or to release their banking passwords to complete strangers in an email but they would have to be pretty stupid.
What is really irritating me right now though is the spam hitting a forum website on which I have remained a moderator along with Terri, other wise known as Mother Jones. This kind of spam involves registering on the forum, and posting large quantities of either highly dull, foreign character (maybe Russian or Greek) or more unpleasantly parts of peoples bodies I don’t want to see on a nursing website. These people are seriously getting on my nerves.
A quick look on Wikipedia told me this:
Most forum spam consists of links to external sites, with the dual goals of increasing search engine visibility in highly competitive areas such as weight loss, pharmaceuticals, gambling, pornography, real estate or loans, and generating more traffic for these commercial websites. Some of these links contain code to track the spambot’s identity if a sale goes through, when the spammer behind the spambot works on commission.
Spam posts may contain anything from a single link, to dozens of links. Text content is minimal, usually innocuous and unrelated to the forum’s topic. Such text is included to prevent the post being caught by automated spam filters that prevent posts which consist solely of external links from being submitted. Full banner advertisements have also been reported.
Alternately, the spam links are posted in the user’s signature, in which case the spambot will never post. The link sits quietly in the signature field, where it is more likely to be harvested by search engine spiders than discovered by forum administrators and moderators.
Recently, a very destructive forum spam attack has been propagated by inserting into comments redirect domains with an automated posting script like Xrumer. These domains redirect a user to pornographic Websites. If a user clicks on the image or attempts to close the Website an ActiveX codec will be downloaded as a Zlob Trojan.
One of the features of Nursing Voices has been the high level of people who register but never post. In the main these are just ordinary people who register but then don’t have anything to contribute. Indeed I once opened a thread asking peoples opinions on why this was the case. But it seems that there may have been a more sinister reason, and that hidden in the signature line was something which helped to point back to NV. This morning alone I have deleted at least 15 posts and banned the associated culprit. I do wish each individual registered spammer posted 4 or 5 posts rather than 1 to make my life easier.
My irritation, though isn’t just with the Spammers. MJ and I aren’t the owners of this site, we are just people trying to make sure Nurses play fair when they have discussions with each other. In this case the owner of that site appears to have cut us loose and is doing nothing (or nothing effective to help us). We have served notice that we will leave them to it in the very near future.
But, what if we stop moderating and this site mushrooms into one completly full of spam, much of it pronographic and the title of that forum remains Nursing Voices, what then? Well it then shows nursing in a completely different way to the one we want it to be shown. What a mess!