Much to chew on in this Online Journalism Review about comment spam: Bloggers Declare War on Comment Spam, but Can They Win?
The answer would seem to be “probably not”, for the reasons enunciated by Mark Pilgrim (of Dive Into Mark): “Spammers are smart and determined, and people are numerous and stupid, and spam pays. You can’t make it not pay. Going after ISPs won’t help; they’ll auto-register somewhere else…Going after them in court won’t help; they’re already living under friendly governments….They will keep coming and coming and coming until you give up, go home, cry uncle, take Prozac.”
As Einstein is quoted as saying (and maybe even said), only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and he wasn’t so sure about the universe. Spammers feed on the stupidity of people who buy their products, who don’t comprehend the collateral damage doing so causes. A bit like driving cars and climate change, actually. (Admission: I drive a car. I guess I’m spamming the atmosphere.)
I’m going to keep on with comments here, because I think it livens up the place (and tells me stuff I didn’t know, usually). I do get people attempting comment spam: to kill it, I use Kitten’s Spam Words allied to the Spammer Tar Pit. Both are WordPress plugins. And work damn well, I’d add.
Unfortunately it looks like spam is inevitable in any online forum; the only variable is its extent. Usenet? Widespread. Email? Almost overwhelming. IM and blogs? Less so. But rising.
Your comments welcome :-)