Forum spam advisory

Submitted by Amari on
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Recently, we've seen somewhat of an increase in spam advertisements on the forum. People (or bots) post a comment to an article or forum topic that usually seems at least vaguely related to the topic, but is always very short and contains a link to an external site which they are trying to advertise. We delete such posts and ban the users as soon as we can, but you may still sometimes encounter them. Although some links may be completely innocuous, obviously, the security of any site linked to in a spam message is in question. As a consequence, I would advise everyone NOT to follow any link posted on this website or forum, unless it is posted by a user you trust, or the rest of the post clearly explains what the link is for.

The problem is actually worse than that!

The problem is actually worse than described above, and we need the help and the vigilance of the whole community.

The worse kind of spam is comments in which no apparent link has been posted. Spammers often use innocuous comments without any apparent link to reach their malefic objectives. Although the comment would appear harmless and more or less on topic, the source code of the comment would include many links to the web sites they want to promote. Obviously, their target are not human visitors but search engines. They expect site moderators and users to disregard their comments altogether, so that they can achieve the search engine optimization they are after.

You can help: be wary of short comments by unknown users. You can check yourself the source code of any page and see if you see some hidden links. If you do, let the moderators know so that the spammer can be banned and the comment deleted.

By the way: how many links do you think this comment contains? Have you checked the source code to verify?

P.S. We really need your help. We have just found a handful of such comments that were already 2 months old. Nobody had noticed them or looked at them twice until now. One is left to wonder, how many more such comments are left polluting this web site!

Ha ha!

Naughty Janitor! I took out the "bad" links, but left the good one. Wink

Thanks for the warning. I had NO idea. Geeze...what will they think of next???

You should be fine

People post helpful links all the time. This is only reffering to spammers and spambots. As long as you don't try to hide links to external websites or purposefully try to sell things or get people to visit a website...you will be fine.

Right

If something looks commercial, I may chase it away, but if the intent is to be helpful, feel free to share your wisdom with others. Smile