Would you like spam with that?

I check the inbox for the blog account every day, checking to see if we had any subscriptions or replies to our posts. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see the comments that friends make. You think about all the articles, facebooks posts, etc. that you read each day, and to take time to write a little note is just awesome. It makes me feel guilty about reading a witty, sincere post and responding by clicking “like” instead of bothering to write a simple sentence.

So yesterday I brought up the inbox, and it was loaded with new e-mails! People super excited about something on the blog. Although…we didn’t post anything yesterday. 30 emails, 30 likes. How strange, no one has clicked on the like buttons before, why now? I investigate further. 30 new people, 30 names I don’t recognize.

The evidence is mounting. 30 accounts on gravatar. The update email shows their best guess on locations for the likers : Portland, OR (plausible, we have friends there), Germany (well, Klein is German, could be possible) , – (don’t know anyone from dash), and Budapest (uh, I’m going ahead and stating with near 100% certainty that no one in Budapest is concerned with our adoption). The likes came on five random posts (6 apiece), and the likes were clustered, occurring at the same time. It’s time to admit the obvious, we’ve been spammed.

Our blog has three ways of involving yourself, a like button, replying to a post, and subscribing. Our little blog has attracted spammers through 2 of those options, replying and liking. Replying is the most obvious target, they can post links to unsafe websites, etc. The spammed “like” is slightly different. At first, my thought was “What’s the big deal? We benefit from the likes, and I can’t see the downside”. The downside is that with each like, their avatar icon (the default patterned icon that you see with some replies) is displayed as a list of who “likes” the post. Each of those icons is a link back to their account, which I assume will lead you back to those unsafe websites.

WordPress has no way to block individuals from liking, so the only way to rid the nuisance is to remove the like feature. It’s not a big loss, nobody has liked any of our posts so far (wait, that sounds wrong, no one has clicked the “like” button on our posts). The setting to turn it off is not a global setting though, each post must be modified to remove it. Did you know that we’ve already written 50+ posts? I do now.

5 responses

  1. I know what you mean. I had a dozen unknown phantoms from the UK and Belgium “like” one of my posts about a month ago and it took me a while to realize I don’t know that many people in Europe, hence, spam. The wonders of the Internet Age never cease to amaze! (and annoy)

  2. Does China show up for me now??? : )
    Make a cool map or something! If so, I’ll try to log in during travelling holidays and make your map pretty! (it may just keep me as USA, where I first subscribed from though….)
    Well, keep the posts coming! Each one makes my heart skip a beat in excitement for you two. (well, depending on the title….I figured the word “spam” didn’t indicate anything new, exciting developments….well, unless you’ve been to Spamalot recently….)

  3. I had something similar happen with my blogspot account. I don’t have “like” buttons on my blog, either, so the posts were spam posts, almost always originated from an Asian blog (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, whatever) but written in English and commenting about random things that have nothing to do with my blog (wow, that was a long sentence).

    Blogspot now has a spam filter and you can change your settings to allow/disallow comments manually. It works out pretty well.

    It sucks, though.

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