Samy was not alone

Chris Pirillo has an interesting post on Lockergnome:

Ever stir up a hornet's nest? It's not very pretty. Lucky for me, I was with friends when the whole thing started on Sunday morning - even though I didn't know it at the time. I posted something titled Google: Kill Blogspot Already!!! I figured this would get everybody's attention - and it did:

In the past few days, I've been inundated with an enormous amount of subscribed search spam for designated keywords. To the tune of hundreds, if not THOUSANDS, of bunk entries. Who knew "lockergnome" and "pirillo" would be THAT popular?! Still, I can't help but think that others are having the same headaches - and 99% of the crap coming in is directly from a single domain: blogspot.com.
I followed that post up with a quick (and very dirty) Screencast of the Blogspot Splog Epidemic. Few people saw it, however, and chose instead to respond and link to the original comments that I, and other digerati, decided to post out of desperation (almost simultaneously):

Get Your Blogspot S--t Together Google
F the spam bloggers
When it rains, it pours
Scripting News
splog splogs blog spam google blogger blogspot blogosphere captcha

After the blogosphere was abuzz with interest (and several dozen linkbacks later), I received official word from a Google representative. I typcially don't spend so much time talking about spam, blogs, blog spam, or Google - but this was a major exception to the "rule." The links were flying, and most users were in agreement with our side of the issue. Soon, I caught wind of a post by one of the originators of the Blogspot service (and, might I remind everybody, a speaker at Gnomedex 2). I chose to respond to his note in a public fashion, via Splogspot in the Splogosphere:

This thread has been a long-time coming, and Google had every ability to stop the problem before last night. "Apparently?" No, the correct word in this situation is "blatantly." "Apparently" would have been the appropriate word to use if the first Blogspot spam started to show up last night.
Today, Google officially posted something about this weekend's surge on their own Blogger-hosted blog. Instead of ending the conversation there, I offered ten solid suggestions for where they can go from here. Doubtful that any one of them will be adopted, but at least I complain with solutions in hand:

1. Employ a blog spammer. Beat them s--tless once they've been hired (hazing spammers isn't illegal), but then employ them to help you figure out what all those a--hats are doing. After they've told you the secrets, beat them s--tless again.
So, what'd YOU do yesterday?!


Jay said...

The samy story has absolutely nothing to do with splogs. That was done using the MySpace profiles and javascript hacking... it had nothing to do with blogs at all.

Splogging is specifically using blogs and blog comments to generate spam traffic to websites. So you'll see blogs that are basically copies of RSS feeds from other sites except the links point to sites spammers want to get traffic on. You'll also see people you've never heard of commenting on your blog and going "hey, I agree! Check out this website [link to spam]".

Also, a link to the original would be nice since the story is cut off.

Jay said...


cardinal47 said...

I knew that. I was testing whether you were still reading my blog since you hadn't commented in a long time:)