Wednesday, March 30, 2016

It's dangerous to have an un-moderated blog or online group

Self-Publishing Review is a useful and respected online magazine. It aims to legitimize self-publishing. A while ago, SPR was scammed into carrying spam advertising for a seller of "Cheap Ralph Lauren polo shirts."

The posting -- which should have come from a person or company involved in self-publishing -- is from, and contains computerized nonsense text combined with links to the enjoypolo site. (Left-click to enlarge.)

Someone at enjoypolo apparently noticed that "Registering for this site is easy, just fill in the fields below and we'll get a new account set up for you in no time," and registered and quickly posted the crap. A Google 'bot noticed the crap and automatically posted it on my blog (which is hosted by Google's Blogger service), and probably on others. This automation added to the effectiveness and the annoyance of the spam scam.

If you operate an online forum, Facebook page, website or blog that is open to public comments, make sure that content has to be approved before it is published. Don't help the spammers.

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