Goodbye, Hall of Shame

If you’ve looked at the top of my blog, you’ll see pages like About/Policy, Contact, and then the dreaded Hall of Shame. Well, the Hall of Shame will be no more. I stopped posting entries into it last November, because there was too much spam. Instead, if I got a spam comment, I just deleted it.

But, even though the page is going away, not all is lost! You can download the data from the Hall of Shame below, conveniently put in a PDF (sorry, no cans here):

https://geoffliu.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/spamdata-final.pdf (16 pages, 854 KB)

Something new!

I was browsing through my WordPress administration pages yesterday and this is what I found:

Looks like more blog statistics, but this time, it’s spam comments!

I’m glad I found this. I’ve always hated spam and kept track of it here. Now I can check my blog’s spam history (which really sucks) among other things such as comments that are inadvertently marked as spam or comments that were spam but were not marked as spam.

Overall, I think Akismet has been doing a wonderful job of keeping up with those nasty spammers. Now, they give me a nice dashboard where I can track all this. Thank you again, Akismet!

Reblog: Security firm chokes sprawling botnet

This post first appeared  on the Register under the title “Security firm chokes sprawling botnet.” It was written by Dan Goodin, and has been edited by Deathgleaner for use on this blog.

A botnet that was once responsible for an estimated third of the world’s spam has been knocked out of commission thanks to researchers from security firm FireEye. Continue reading “Reblog: Security firm chokes sprawling botnet”

Twitter Trending Topics: Just Another Avenue for Spam?

Twitter trending topics sidebar
Twitter trending topics sidebar

About three months ago, Twitter brought back trending topics and little advertisements in the sidebar of the Twitter home page. This was a way so that users could see what was going on in the world around them. For example, the launch of Endeavor and the death of Michael Jackson all made it to the trending topics.

Regrettably, that’s not all the fodder that’s been on the trending topics. Other pointless material such as “#moonfruit” (see this blog post) and “#swaptree” have also been present, as well as anything that you can think of. On some days, the trending topics are swamped by news headlines. On other days, they are clogged by random miscellany. People try crazy things to get their message on Twitter, including mass-retweeting and spreading rumors. Some people take advantage of trending topics and tweet messages like “follow me!!! #iranelection Michael Jackson MJ’s #thankyoumichael…” to advertise on the list and gain recognition.

I actually rely on trending topics as a source of news (for example “Happy Bastille Day”), but I hate it how random and pointless words clog up the list from time to time. I don’t wish Twitter to take down the trending topics, but rather to start plucking the spam from them and telling spam trending-topickers to stop spamming.

Stupid moonfruit!

There was this competition that surfaced through Twitter a couple of days ago. Twitter users could tweet their way to winning a MacBook Pro. To do this, the user would have to use the tag “#moonfruit” in each of his or her tweets in creative ways. The competition is projected to last ten days, but I wish it was over now.

First of all, I don’t think this is a real competition. Whoever is running it is giving away 17,000 dollars worth of stuff (MacBook Pros cost 1,700 dollars). It’s sort of like the days at school where a student throws up a ten dollar bill in the air amid hundreds of schoolmates, just to see utter chaos ensue when the bill falls to the ground. The competition is just a scheme to crash Twitter by making users spam Twitter with senseless “#moonfruit” tags in each post, as random as the tag may be. In fact, “#moonfruit” made it to the top of the trending topics in Twitter. This scheme also makes the users seem like three year olds begging their moms: “can I have a piece of candy” every five minutes. Saying a random word over and over makes you look like a retard. Yes, the runners of this competition pick “winners”, but that’s just so that people would continue robotically pummeling Twitter with this stupid word.

I wish the runner of this so-called competition would just step forward and admit that this is no competition, that it’s just a devious scheme to gain recognition. Furthermore, he’d have to give his apologies to everyone who posted the “#moonfruit” tag, one by one. Hopefully in the future, these kinds of mass-spammings won’t occur.