Need someone to lead product management at your software company? I create software for people that create software and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

This is the blog of Adam Kalsey. Unusual depth and complexity. Rich, full body with a hint of nutty earthiness.

Security & Privacy

Comment Spam Manifesto

Freshness Warning
This blog post is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

Posting an email address in a public place is not an invitation for companies to send unsolicited advertisements. Hosting a public Web forum or Usenet server does not give companies permission or the moral right to advertise on it. And soliciting comments from the public on a weblog entry or other Web page does not mean that companies or individuals are invited to use it for their advertising purposes.

Usenet news succumbed to spam long ago. Email was next. Now spammers have turned their attention to weblogs and comment forms. In order to increase search engine rankings you are posting advertisements to our Web pages. What you failed to understand is that bloggers are smarter, better connected, and more technologically savvy than the average email user. We control the medium that you are now attempting to exploit. You’ve picked a fight with us and it’s a fight you cannot win.

We have complained amongst ourselves, tried technological solutions, and tried to understand the nature of comment spam. And we are done. We now intend to fight back.

Spammers are hereby put on notice. Your comments are not welcome. If the purpose behind your comment is to advertise yourself, your Web site, or a product that you are affiliated with, that comment is spam and will not be tolerated.

Bloggers will track you down and notify your hosting providers about your activities. We will tell your ISPs what you are using their connections for. We will let the makers of the products you are advertising know of your despicable sales methods. We will hit you where it hurts by attacking your source of income.

You can move to a new host, find a new ISP, or sign up for a different affiliate plan. The end result will be the same. Each time you rise out of the muck we will strike you down and send you back to the hole you crawled out of.

Our sites belong to us and we intend to keep it that way. It will no longer be profitable to advertise through comment spam.

What you can do

Sign the manifesto by linking to it, leaving a comment or sending a TrackBack ping. Get the word out and let spammers know that their days are numbered.

Write tutorials on how to track down spammers and shut down their operations. I wrote about how to get spammer’s affiliate accounts terminated. Perhaps someone else could write up how to trace a domain back to their hosting company. Or how to use tools like dig to find someone’s ISP based on their IP address.

Start a posse. People particularly good at tracking down spammers could volunteer to help others. If a blogger is spammed, the volunteers could track down the culprit and shut him down. Stopping comment spam in one corner of the web will be good for everyone.


Trackback from 0ink
June 27, 2005 3:44 AM

Comment Spam Attempts

Excerpt: It’s amazing how much comment spam is directed at my site, although I’m sure the amount of spam directed at my site is modest compared to others. I don’t know why the spammers keep it up, since I don’t even notice it until I ch...

Trackback from The Big Hairy Blogger
July 20, 2005 3:07 PM

And that Pretty much sums it up!

Excerpt: Adam Kalsey has post what I have been wanting to say since I got my first comment post of spam Posting an email address in a public place is not an invitation for companies to send unsolicited advertisements. Hosting a public Web forum or Usenet ser...

Sandra Villanueva
August 14, 2005 3:18 PM

I am very mad about the way some spammers have been using my site and posting very stupid info and links that don't even work properly. The spam manifesto sounds great,when I read it it was all what I wish to say to those who believe they can abuse a site and go there and spam when there is nobody (basically at night),nobody has the right for using other people's sites,blogs and places where art,articles are written with a purpose,especially if those sites/blogs are for helping disabled people,or people suffering any kind of disease. Sometimes the owners of sites would like to open a site/forum to all public,even allowing a few anonymous readers to express an opinion if they want to share,but with all the spammers,using the comments sections for adding stupid comments/or unuseful links,it's really what make us the owners of a site/blog or forum make those places private,just for "logged in" users. Spammers should be punished as criminals,they are criminals that act without respect.

Jim Parham
August 20, 2005 4:52 PM

I believe "spam that pollutes the blogosphere" should be referred to as "SMOG"....... Jim Parham ~ Yuba City, CA

August 22, 2005 6:34 AM

Well put. Our sites belong to us, and we won't be overrun by jerks.

Bernhard Rosenkraenzer
August 22, 2005 10:17 AM

Signing the manifesto on behalf of the Ark Linux team -- that *****ing spammer that defaced or forums with his crap will get what he deserves.

Ted Demopoulos
August 23, 2005 7:37 PM

Death to comment spammers! Well, perhaps just maiming. At very least a serious spanking, and no 'net privileges for at least a month.

Katherine Stone
October 12, 2005 8:40 AM

Amen brother. Comment spam really pisses me off. Decent Marketing joins your manifesto.

October 16, 2005 2:12 PM

What I have not is not advertising spam, but script generated nuisance spam, hundreds of them. Given the broad range IP addresses broadcasting the same stuff, these are coming from workstations infested with trojan software. This is where a lot of email spam comes from too.

October 24, 2005 1:53 PM

Damn straight, and well put. I'll link to your post from my blog, probably later today. Just had (another) spammer from China come visit this morning.. I've contacted the host of the main company he is promoting.. will wait and see what happens. Here's the blog post where I 'exposed' him, and swore at him in Mandarin I got off some website! (One of the swears is "son of rabbit!") heh.

November 2, 2005 1:52 AM

You could always do what some others are doing... implement the SpamVampire into your site... when people are visiting your site, they're also draining data from the spammers who are polluting your site. Spammers soon learn that spamming any sites associated with your domain is a negative income endeavor, and they learn to leave your sites alone. Check out THESCAMBAITER.COM for an example (as well as a lot of hilarious stories of 419-baiting).

Alex Zan
November 8, 2005 5:48 AM

Cool done. Our sites belong to us, and we won't be overrun by any jerks.

Trackback from The J Spot
December 14, 2005 7:18 AM

Comment Spam from FarmOut Central Intouch

Excerpt: FarmOut Central Intouch has been writing spam comments on blogs. Yuga has been vigilant enough to notice this early on, even as other bloggers like myself almost just passed the comments off as written...

Recess Monkey
January 20, 2006 6:38 AM

Your words nearly brought a tear to my eye. I write and the daily mission of deleting and blacklisting blogspam is soul destroying. But if i didn't do it the bastards would suck the life out of my small Recess Monkey community. I hatethemhatethemhatethem Thanks Recess Monkey

Russ Jones
January 20, 2006 12:10 PM

The worst is when you have a forum, blog, wiki, and guestbook all on the same site. Might as well shoot yourself. That being said, there is a new player out for stopping link spam (whether it be comment, wiki, forum, guestbook, etc) called LinkSleeve. It is free, and works via XML-RPC, so it platform independent. Simply put, it collects your visitor's post and all of the included urls. If that url has occurred more than the threshold limit for # posted urls per hour, a "reject" response is returned. Otherwise, an "accept" response is returned. It is already working pretty well on the handful of sites it is on right now, but it gets better and better the more sites that use it. Anyway, good luck in the war on Spam!

These are the last 15 comments. Read all 214 comments here.

This discussion has been closed.

Recently Written

Micromanaging and competence (Jul 2)
Providing feedback or instruction can be seen as micromanagement unless you provide context.
My productivity operating system (Jun 24)
A framework for super-charging productivity on the things that matter.
Great product managers own the outcomes (May 14)
Being a product manager means never having to say, "that's not my job."
Too Big To Fail (Apr 9)
When a company piles resources on a new product idea, it doesn't have room to fail. That keeps it from succeeding.
Go small (Apr 4)
The strengths of a large organization are the opposite of what makes innovation work. Starting something new requires that you start with a small team.
Start with a Belief (Apr 1)
You can't use data to build products unless you start with a hypothesis.
Mastery doesn’t come from perfect planning (Dec 21)
In a ceramics class, one group focused on a single perfect dish, while another made many with no quality focus. The result? A lesson in the value of practice over perfection.
The Dark Side of Input Metrics (Nov 27)
Using input metrics in the wrong way can cause unexpected behaviors, stifled creativity, and micromanagement.


What I'm Reading