Not so glorious spam!

Before proceeding further, I would like to make it crystal clear that I value all my followers irrespective of how you follow this website. The majority of my followers choose to follow this blog using the WordPress Reader, while others subscribe via Twitter or Facebook. A small percentage receive posts via email. Its important to me that those who have neither a WordPress blog, a Gravatar, don’t use Twitter or Facebook have the opportunity to easily access my content, hence the presence of the button enabling people to subscribe using email. Indeed I subscribe to many sites using the email button and (as I’ve already said) value the ability to receive posts by email.

Turning to the matter in hand. Approximately 10 days ago I noticed a steady increase in email subscriptions, all of which emanated from the outlook.com domain. I was, of course delighted to have new followers (who wouldn’t be?). I did, however think it somewhat odd that all these new subscribers where subscribing to Newauthoronline using the same domain (outlook.com). Yesterday (Saturday 21 January) all became clear. I received an obviously spammy comment from a user at the outlook.com domain. I duly deleted said attempt to spam my site. As of now I have received 9 spam comments (all of which have been deleted). Every one of these attempts to spam came from entities using the outlook.com domain which does, I feel sure explain the unusual spike in email subscribers using Outlook.

I have no intention of removing the ability to subscribe to newauthoronline.com via email. There are many good reasons why a reader might choose this method of subscribing, including not wishing to utilise social media/not having a WordPress site and/or Gravatar. I will continue to treat each comment received on its merits irrespective of whether it comes via a Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or email follower and I’ve no intention of changing this practice. I will, however be keeping a sharp eye out for unusual activity such as a spike in subscribers from a particular domain whether that be Outlook or any other provider. Of course I have had spam comments from WordPress users. These are, however extremely rare but, again I shall be keeping a weather eye out for spammy comments irrespective of their source.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I welcome all subscribers irrespective of how they choose to subscribe. The vast majority of people who follow this (and other blogs) do so for genuine reasons. Likewise the overwhelming majority of comments are from those who truly wish to have their voice heard/make a contribution to a post. Finally, I don’t assume that anyone who uses the outlook.com domain to subscribe is upto no good. You are welcome to subscribe using that or any other method – but not to spam!

Kevin

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12 thoughts on “Not so glorious spam!

  1. Believing Sight Unseen

    Hi Kevin – I’ve had a similar experience. Last week I picked up a handful of email followers from the same domain. I thought this odd as I’ve only ever had one email follower and I know her. They only stayed a couple of days, which again is odd (this isn’t Twitter after all!) and as far as I could see they didn’t like or comment on any of my blog posts; mind you I’ve not checked the spam file as yet. My concern is that they may be ripping off content; but I guess we all have to live with that risk?. Eric.

    Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Hi Eric. Many thanks for your comment. Its interesting that you also picked up a couple of followers from the same domain. Assuming the entity spamming me reads this post, I suspect they also may not stay around for long. I certainly hope that your content was not being ripped off. Best, Kevin

      Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Thanks for your comment Maja. You are the second blogger (not counting myself which makes 3), to have had this experience. It would appear that there is an efort (possibly a concerted one) to follow sites by email with the intention of spamming them. Since posting this article, I have experienced one further attempt to spam. This is, I hope the last attempt by this particular entity. Best, Kevin

      Reply
    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Many thanks for your comment. I’m sorry you (and other bloggers) are experiencing the same issue as I am. I also wonder whether WordPress has changed something. Its certainly tiresome to have to be constantly on the watch for spam comments! Best. Kevin

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Spam, spam and more spam | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

    1. drewdog2060drewdog2060 Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this problem. The pity of it is that it can lead one to become suspicious of (genuine) people who happen to follow you using an Outlook adress (as not all Outlook followers are spammers or potential generators of spam).

      Reply

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