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New way to spam

  1. ...I'm getting Liked by money-making schemers who are smart enough to make Gravatar accounts:

    On this post:
    http://vankleekhill.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/sprung/

    [removed]

    I've also been getting some from obviously mentally ill bloggers looking to spread their Word, but I'm willing to cut them some slack.

  2. So, just so that I'm understanding this correctly, there's not really anything we can do about self-hosted blogs that are hitting the like button on our blogs to spam their money making sites?

    Not yet.

    I'm getting Liked by money-making schemers who are smart enough to make Gravatar accounts.

    Did the one from jordanlats26 come in after my "I'll see what I can do about preventing future Likes from them" reply here?

  3. Not yet.

    Well that's discouraging. Is there something in the works to combat that, or should we all just start disabling "likes" on our pages?

    Both the previously mentioned Dominik Mikua and jordanlats26 folks hit my blog earlier in the day.

  4. Yes, I already mentioned that earlier.

  5. Whatever happened to using the report abuse link on gravatar and then reporting them for spamming?

  6. I see it now, sorry, not sure how I missed it.

  7. Whatever happened to using the report abuse link on gravatar and then reporting them for spamming?

    You can certainly do that, and please do!

    From any Gravatar profile, just use the "Report Abuse" link near the bottom-right corner.

  8. mothernaturesbackyard
    Member

    They are back with new Gravatar accounts.

    Is there a way to disable the LIKE button for all future posts?

  9. Yes, you can do that from Settings -> Sharing in your blog's Dashboard.

  10. @macmanx
    If we prevent use of the like button on future posts it has no effect on past posts. Is there a way to remove all existing likes and disable future likes throughout the whole blog?

  11. Yes, if you choose "Turned on per post" at Settings -> Sharing, your Like button will be disabled site-wide, and you'll need to re-enable it for any desired post.

    Likewise, "On for all posts" enabled the Like button for every post.

  12. mothernaturesbackyard
    Member

    I've done this. All avatars are hidden on the blog posts now.

    But the LIKE button still shows on the Reader if I use tags or categories and now I have to disable email notifications.

    I've tried reporting abuse to Gravatar so many times when Jordan Latour changed his name that the report abuse option has disappeared from that page.

    I hate to be forced into being private. Maybe it is time to report them to their host.

  13. Right, you'll still get the email notifications from Likes via the Reader. In my case, I just ignore them.

  14. I am trying to understand these issues.

    The Like button and the Social Media sharing buttons are part and parcel of the same settings under Settings / Sharing option. Is it not?

    If I un-check [Show buttons on - Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results], am I not excluding both (social media icons and Likes) together?

    What if I want to un-check the same for Posts and Pages? Because the people following my individual blog posts, would land at the site and see the Social Media and Likes on individual posts. Am I not effectively turning off both the Social Media and Likes altogether from the whole blog?

    Is there a way to separate the Likes from the Social Media sharing buttons? I'd rather keep the Social Media buttons and get rid of the Likes because Likes button is what people appear to be abusing right now. Isn't that what you are all describing above in this thread?

  15. If I un-check [Show buttons on - Front Page, Archive Pages, and Search Results], am I not excluding both (social media icons and Likes) together?

    Correct, you'll exclude both from the front page and such.

    What if I want to un-check the same for Posts and Pages? Because the people following my individual blog posts, would land at the site and see the Social Media and Likes on individual posts. Am I not effectively turning off both the Social Media and Likes altogether from the whole blog?

    Exactly.

    Is there a way to separate the Likes from the Social Media sharing buttons? I'd rather keep the Social Media buttons and get rid of the Likes because Likes button is what people appear to be abusing right now. Isn't that what you are all describing above in this thread?

    Yes, if you choose "Turned on per post" at Settings -> Sharing, your Like button will be disabled site-wide, and you'll need to re-enable it for any desired post.

    Likewise, "On for all posts" enabled the Like button for every post.

  16. Okay, I followed your advise and I see that the Like button disappears.

    This is sort of catch-22 here. I do have several WordPress legitimate bloggers who would click on Like button on my posts. In any case, I will compromise on them to see if the spammers/abusers disappear.

  17. Sorry to bother again but this is little confusing.

    I ran a search on my inbox using the subject line: "liked your post". This is the keyword I see from the email I receive from WordPress.com when a WordPress blogger clicks on the Like button of any of my post.

    From my perspective, I see normal usage of the Like button by people; however, there are few bloggers who do look suspicious but I really cannot tell. For example, does this blog looks legitimate? http://www.welcometosuccessonline.com/about-me/, or this: http://reachingutopia.wordpress.com/about/, or this: http://en.gravatar.com/ultimatebloggingtips

    From my perspective, my blog offers nothing for anyone who's looking to make money online and two out of three bloggers above appear to have links which is inviting people to make money.

    My problem is that I generally don't have time to go over these issues and I don't want to be judgmental all day over my visitors. But at the same time, I also don't want my legitimate readers to unconsciously click on any links which causes harm.

    What is the middle ground solution here?

  18. ismailimail,
    On the matter of blog legitimacy or suspicious behavior that is nothing but peddling money-making scams, perhaps someone here will correct me about this understanding I have, if it is amiss:

    WordPress.com bloggers are not permitted to advertise and push these sicko affiliate links, so we can report them for abuse. However, a WordPress.org software user hosting their own blog is not subject to the selling/advertising restrictions applied to free blogs at WordPress.com.

    When I looked into some of my spammy-likers whose blogs do nothing but promote money-making schemes (I have turned off Likes for this reason, among others), I looked for a way to determine whether they were WordPress.com free blogs or self-hosted. I did not find any.

    Their privately registered .com URL's did not match WordPress.com blog addresses, but who knows what blog address they might have linked to a custom URL, or, instead, if their .com's are self-hosted.

    Anyone know of a way to determine whether a WordPress-powered blog is a free one or self-hosted? I would like to know so that I can report the scammers if they are using free blogs.

    Am I correct in surmising that there's no point reporting a self-hosted blog for sham/scam/took-your-money-and-ran peddlers, because they are not riding on the WordPress.com free ticket, and thus are not subject to its selling/advertising restrictions?

    Thanks.
    -Dennis

  19. I just realized something. People who follow the blog through the Reader, can still Like your post even if you turn the Like button off on your blog itself. Their Like would just not show up on the blog post itself but you would get the email if you have email notification turned on.

  20. Anyone know of a way to determine whether a WordPress-powered blog is a free one or self-hosted?

    If it's a WordPress.com blog and you're logged in to WordPress.com, you'll see the admin bar up top, which you can use to report the blog following this guide: http://en.support.wordpress.com/report-blogs/#reporting-a-wordpress-com-blog

    Am I correct in surmising that there's no point reporting a self-hosted blog for sham/scam/took-your-money-and-ran peddlers, because they are not riding on the WordPress.com free ticket, and thus are not subject to its selling/advertising restrictions?

    Somewhat correct. We can't do anything about non-WordPress.com blogs, but you can report the Gravatar profile via the "Report Abuse" link near the bottom-right.

  21. A few times I have seen blogs that did manage to remove the top bar -

    A few other things

    Blog at WordPress.com in the footer
    Look at the image info and part of the picture URL (http://blog-name.files.wordpress.com/other info)

    Powered by WordPress in the footer - PROBABLY but not always a WordPress.ORG install - there used to be some legacy themes that still had the .ORG link in the footer - don't know if all of them have been cleaned up or not

  22. After reading a post by Timethief on her blog at OneCoolSiteBloggingTips about the spam problem she and others face, I suggested the following that the Automattic Team might consider implementing:

    About gravatars – it occurs to me that Automattic could require people setting up gravatars to use a certain minimum number of characters in any new gravatars from now on (ie.e grandfather in the existing ones) and that would make the task of spotting spammy ones much easier.

    They could also email existing gravatar users and ask them to confirm it is still current – and then archive any where the user doesn’t respond within a given period.

  23. macmanx and auxclass,
    Thank you so much for the useful info in your replies. Exactly what I was looking for.

  24. You be welcome & good luck

  25. it occurs to me that Automattic could require people setting up gravatars. . .

    Despite the separate sites, Gravatar is actually a part of WordPress.com, there are no separate accounts, so Gravatar cannot have a separate signup or user retention policy.

    Thank you so much for the useful info in your replies.

    You're welcome!

  26. Thanks macmanx - understood.

  27. You're welcome!

  28. I have the same issue, getting likes from few of the users that mothernaturesbackyard mentioned. Keep getting LIKES from Make Money Blogs.

    IMO, it would be beneficial if WP.com can add an option in the Akismet to allow us to report the spam like’s.

  29. @macmanx
    Note this:

    Select the button that says Turned on per post, and click Save Changes. The like button will no longer appear when readers visit your posts. (The Like button will still appear in readers’ toolbars.)
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/likes/#turn-likes-onoff-on-specific-posts

    Why is it that we can disable the like button but it still appears on our posts in the Reader? Why has WordPress.com Staff set this up to behave this way?

  30. I'm pretty sure it was just an oversight in the new Reader design. I did make note of it when it was brought up.

    Regardless, if you disable the Like button on your blogs, the Likes won't be displayed on your blog.

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