Preventing "Spammers" from being notified of new Posts

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  • #1217859

    macmanx
    Staff

    But if the problem was just new bloggers not knowing what they were doing, then why has the number of new/suspicious followers increased so dramatically over the past few months?

    Because the number of new WordPress.com users has increased dramatically over the past few month too, and new folks probably want to read blogs too.

    Anyway, this all just highlights why this won’t be a quick fix, as we are collecting and analyzing the data to find the best way to identify and combat spam followers without inconveniencing legitimate followers.

    #1217860

    ismailimail
    Member

    @macmanx, is there a thread open already (like this one) for discussing the spam comments?

    In a normal 24 hour period, my blog gets 20 or so spam comments which avoids the Akismet scanner. They land in my inbox and I have to tend to them on daily basis which is a chore. As you can expect, this takes up quiet a lot of time on daily basis. I believe marking-them-spam does not really work (or else I should see a decrease over time, no?). My blog has been suffering with this issue for more than a month now (it wasn’t always like this). The number of legitimate spam comments (which Akismet grabs properly) are in hundreds, but they don’t bother me because I don’t get emails.

    So what are my options? I opted out of receiving email notifications on spam-followers issue which is discussed in this thread (so I don’t have to waste my time on it). But I am now stuck with tending spam-commenters emails on daily basis.

    #1217861

    macmanx
    Staff

    No, but you could start one if you’d like to.

    Akismet is a learning engine, so as long as you keep marking them as spam, it will adapt to the new spam trend.

    #1217862

    jescudos
    Member

    I am also concerned about these “strange followers”. I’ve received 7 new followers in the last couple of days, all of them with a Hotmail.com address. Now don’t tell me this “might be a strange coincidence”. After reading this thread is quite clear that something strange is happening.
    I haven’t checked the followers links because I fear it could be a virus, so I can’t say what their blogs or sites are about, or if they have one.
    Until there’s no explanation to this, I’ve also taken away the “follow” widget but if they can follow me via the WordPress bar, I don’t know if it really helps.
    I never received spam before… and now I’m starting to get spam. I wonder if these two events are somehow related.

    #1217863

    “Spam comments have no connection with spam followers.”
    If this is the case, can somebody explain why I’ve gotten 9 new (randomstringofcharacters@hotmail) followers in the past week (7 in the past 2 days) + 10 spam comments on random past posts in the same time spam? I am NOT that popular & I’ve had the same 2 subscribers for ages (until now). Furthermore, I pasted all 9 of those email addresses into google & they ALL brought up forum spam reports. I am not the first person to report such a thing.

    Scott & Tim: While I know you guys have a lot on your plates, it really feels like y’all are trying to blow us off. For WP staff to make snarky retorts to people’s genuine experiences smacks of an attempt to explain away what is a clear trend. All that does is whittle away the confidence at your service’s reputation.

    I’m glad that you all are ‘collecting & analyzing data’; it would be helpful to have a rough idea of possible next steps and/or some sort of timetable. Can you all implement a more robust verification system while you figure out a way to give us control over our subscriber lists?

    Also: reblogging is not the same as the content theft that folks are talking about. reblogging is saying, ‘I found this nifty post by X over at thiscoolsite.com; check it out!’ What these other blogs are doing is literally lifting content & posting as their own. Yes, content theft happens frequently on the web, but not in this way. Nobody has time to pursue a bunch of new copyright infringements every week.

    #1217864

    *I should add: I’m self-hosted, but have the JetPack signup enabled. Well, had; I just disabled it a few minutes ago.

    #1217865

    I wish we could edit comments… Scott & Tim are from last year’s iteration of this problem (which is how I managed to find this forum). Y’all know who you are. I’m going to bed. Apologies for blowing up anyone’s notifications.

    #1217866

    jescudos
    Member

    Update: between my comment from last night and this morning I’ve received a couple more of those Hotmail followers. So disabling the followers box or widgets doesn’t help.

    And I agree with amandamichelle, since I started receiving this Hotmail followers, I’ve started also receiving spam… which (as I mentioned) didn’t happen before that.

    #1217867

    jescudos
    Member

    Hi again: this is the list of my suspicious followers. I tried to check if they had blogs, but my antivirus warned me NOT TO ENTER their sites. I checked through Google and I found a spam report site where most of these addresses are included. They seem to be originating in France, all coming from the same IP! (check http://www.stopforumspam.com/ipcheck/5.135.188.142)

    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)
    (email redacted)

    #1217868

    jescudos
    Member

    Oh great, the emails didn’t appear. Here’s the list again, to this names just add @ and hotmail.com:
    avawdzf,
    reyeszqj
    rolonuue
    vidajfhd
    dysonapue
    tanyaqzw
    dollyvxuk
    josehozgum
    haleykspa

    #1217869

    most of those people are also on my list!

    #1217870

    windwhistle
    Member

    I’ve gotten spam from the “hotmail gang” too. Akismet held mine for moderation (you have a Discussion setting to do this). Keep marking it as spam and Akismet will block it the next time. Just as Raid kills bugs dead, Akismet kills spammers dead. Just hit that spray/mark as spam button and another one bites the dust.

    #1217871

    @windwhistle the problem isn’t spam comments (i think we’re all seeing these folks in our akismet queue). the problem is that these same folks are signing up to follow our blogs & sometimes taking content to post elsewhere.

    #1217872

    timethief
    Member

    For dealing with actual incidences of content theft that you can substantiate see here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/content-theft-what-to-do/

    For preventing content theft see here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/prevent-content-theft/

    See also http://www.copyscape.com/?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amandamichellejones.com%2F

    #1217873

    @timethief you’re also missing the point.

    #1217874

    windwhistle
    Member

    Belatedly it dawns on me that the reason the spammers “Follow” is that it gives them a way to “Like” a lot of posts really fast (via the Reader) without ever having to visit the blogs. Readers don’t see the followers but they do see and can click on the Likes. That’s another reason to remove Likes from the Reader. And what’s the point of having a Reblog button in the Reader? No legitimate reader is going to reblog something without going to the site first to see the entire post.

    #1217875

    Scott & Tim: While I know you guys have a lot on your plates, it really feels like y’all are trying to blow us off. For WP staff to make snarky retorts to people’s genuine experiences smacks of an attempt to explain away what is a clear trend. All that does is whittle away the confidence at your service’s reputation.

    Thank you, amandamichelle.

    I totally understand that bloggers with different levels of skill/expertise may have different amounts of original blog content or different degrees of site development, especially new bloggers. However, the features of the “new followers” that I listed in my earlier post are too consistent and showing up too often for *all* of these new followers to be random unrelated bloggers with an identical level of expertise.

    And although I understand that WordPress encourages new bloggers to follow other blogs, in the last couple of days I am starting to see new followers that are blogs with a title and a URL, but NO content at all. I get that these could be new bloggers who are looking at other blogs for ideas, but the number and frequency of these is also suspicious.

    #1217876

    Hi, I returned to worpress a week ago.

    These followers are a little dispiriting, eh…

    nobody mentions the y link to a so-called awol ‘movement’ – seemingly a mlm marketing type ‘business.’ Profiles have the beach lifestyle or snowboard pics -and ‘you too can have it all if u pay $25.’

    I thought it was a little odd at first. It does make me feel – dumb, I suppose or precious, ha.

    Good luck with the fix.

    #1217877

    I too had been hit with new “subscribers” by email only with an @hotmail.com address, similar to what jescudos user reported above. There’s obviously been some increased attempt at spammers to subscribe to blogs, whether it’s a follow or an email subscription.

    I would LOVE to be able to delete email subscribers from my blog list manually. I believe a quarter of it is spammers and I hate thinking my blog content is being emailed to who knows who.

    Why can’t WordPress make that feature available? How hard is it to do, really???

    #1217878

    I’m posting this here because I don’t know what else to do with it. Today a follower signed up, and when I went to the site to check it out, the web address led straight to the Gravatar profile and not to the website. The website (a WordPress site) was linked on the profile, but when I went to the site through the profile, the “report” function was somehow disabled. The website gives a pretty good indication of why this poster might not want to be reported for spamming:
    http://www.yourdailyphil.com/

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