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“Human” Comment Spammer

Wow, I’ve just received my first batch of comment spam from a real “person” (if spammers are to be considered people.) It’s all from the IP address of, which is in China. The first hit was this morning at 2:03am. “ – – [13/Mar/2007:02:03:31 -0500] “GET /journal/2007/02/08/powered-by-wordpress-directory/ HTTP/1.1” 200 5080 “” “Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1)”

So, he started out by googling for “Powered by WordPress.” Then he actually visited my web site (the home page, another blog entry, my jokes listing, a few jokes, back to the blog, submitted comments on several entries, then left at 2:48. So, he spent 45 minutes on my site, for no real purpose. I guess this is the next wave of things to fight against.

This clickstream would have defeated Bad Behavior. And Akismet missed all of the comments as well. A human would have gotten past a CAPTCHA or math question. Hmmm, adding all of ChinaNet to the firewall? That would only work until the spammers use infected Windows machines as proxies, so it looks like they are surfing from the US.


  1. Ron says:

    Thing is, when does manual commenting become spam? Is my comment here spam? What constitutes a comment being unworthy?

    Is it the actual content? I suppose if your chinese visitor posted just lists of links, that would be spam, regardless if it was posted manually. If he posted questions or comments, and just had a link in his name (like this post) – is he spamming or commenting?

  2. Hi Ron, Your message was right on the edge of spam due to two things:

    1. The email address you left was for a mortgage refinance company.

    2. The URL you left a link to was to a Squidoo lens that was highly questionable.

    Defining spam comments is like pornography. I can’t necessarily define it, but I know it when I see it. And links to “bad” sites, source IP addresses that resolve to “bad” countries, and email addresses that are “bad” all help add up to a “bad” comment.

  3. Dan says:

    I was getting the same garbage. Even with a captcha plugin and a gatekeeper question to only get “humans”, I kept getting tons of it. Finally, I just started watching the IP’s of the spammers, and outright banned their entire subdomains via my webhost. I doubt I lost too many readers, as I feel confident I’m not widely regarded in China. =P

  4. Peter says:

    I get some of “human” spammers as well on my blogs. I guess it’s just part of the game. What to do about it? Add it to my daily chore…

  5. Nowak says:

    This kind of spam will definetelly grow since spammers realize that a few comments on highly valued blogs is better than hundreds of comments on blogs that are seldom visited.

    From my experience however, blogs allowing instant commenting get more and better comments, hence better and more viral content in the long run. After all, if you spend time writing a comment you don’t want it to be trown away.

    CAPTCHA does fairly good job of stopping hte most obvious. But one should think twice before taking more drastic measures.

  6. Rosie Manning says:

    Well, it’s not fair to block ChinaNet. Not everyone is a spammer but it does create a bad image to ChinaNet nonetheless.

    Not many people would actually waste their time to comment spam manually because it’s simply too time consuming.

    For me, I would just block the IP Address using .htaccess. Anyways, I don’t really get much traffic from China…mostly from US šŸ™‚

  7. Nowak says:

    Time consuming, yes. But think of much smaller wages in, for example, China.

  8. Tony Tsai says:

    I think if someone tries to spam with “manual” labor…. he has way too much time in hand…LOL