During recent travels, I came across an article on the scourge of “splogs” – spam blogs. Wired Magazine writer Charles C. Mann explains that “like email spam, splogs use the most wonderful features of networked communication – its flexibility, easy access, and low cost – in the service of sleazy get-rich-quick schemes. But whereas email spammers try to induce recipients to buy products, sploggers and other Web spammers make most of their money by getting viewers to click on ads that run adjacent to their nonsensical text. Web page owners – the spammer, in this case – get paid by the advertiser every time someone clicks on an ad.”
In his treatment of the subject, Mann also touches on the topic of comment and trackback spam: “Not only do sploggers create fake blogs or take over abandoned ones, they use robo-software to flood real blogs with bogus comments that link back to the splog. (“Great post! For more on this subject, click here!”) Statistics compiled by Akismet, a system put together by WordPress developer Mullenweg that tries to filter out blog spam, suggest that more than nine out of 10 comments in the blogosphere are spam. Partly as a result, prominent blogs like Instapundit, The Corner, and Talking Points Memo simply refuse to turn on commenting.