Disqus spam

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Last week Disqus announced that they’d added improved spam filtering and reporting features.

A lot of people have complained about Disqus not being good enough at spam filtering, so it was a welcome change.  I think a lot of people responded to the announcement by returning to using Disqus, because almost immediately I started getting more referral traffic from there.

Unfortunately (and ironically) the amount of spam I got also increased.  The spam seems to be written by actual humans rather than the mangled kind of automated garbage that shows up in my email inbox.

As far as I can tell from Google Analytics, what seems to happen is that they search for “powered by disqus” plus another keyword and then comment on each blog that shows up in the search results.  The comments are either completely generic like “thanks for the interesting post” or very slightly related to the post – I don’t think they spend a lot of time actually reading the post or crafting a comment.  The point seems to be that the spammy comments contain links to spammy websites which will improve their pagerank and could drive traffic there.

From my point of view the problem is that because the comments are written by a human it’s not immediately obvious that they’re spam, which makes it harder for Disqus and for me to detect.

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