27 Aug 2010

Blogger reluctantly fights spam

This past week or so, Blogger notified its users that it's finally decided to fight spam. You can read all about it here. Perhaps many of us would have found this impressive if implemented several months or, quite frankly, a few years ago but the admins seem to have only responded to this common problem now, and only after a deluge of complaints have been posted on their unresponsive feedback site (through Google), over the course of uncountable eons. Some other bloggers are mildly more hopeful than I about this banal update.

I'm one of those crabby realists who doesn't buy into the overused "better late than never" excuse that barely keeps typical bureaucracies from imploding into failure. Behind the scenes, I've been spending my precious time deleting and redeleting automatic spam from some computer-savvy psychopath writing short quips (half in Chinese & half in English, oddly enough) with a trail of elipses anchored with tags to Russian porn sites and the like, purposely designed to capitalize on accidental user click-through by bloggers trying hard to moderate their commentboxes from this very stupidity. From browsing other sites, I see I'm not the only one of his victims since his spam has successfully rooted itself in other commentboxes by more careless Blogger users. For some odd marketing reason that I can't fathom, Blogger allowed this to go on for quite a long time with no solution, no doubt driving yet more bloggers to their competitors. If I could find a Wordpress solution that was free like Blogger and matching all the capabilities of this system, I'd be gone too. Soooooo gone. But we must do with what we got and make lemonade out of the sour lemons.

After perusing Google's explanation of the new system however, I see some obvious flaws. It would make far more sense to simply allow us bloggers to individually determine for ourselves what constitutes "spam" and not force Google's comparatively blind algorithms on people. For example, I would like to specifically block a few rather dense and obsessive commenters permanently from my blog without having to go through the motion of specifically deleting their consistent nonsense in my mailbox. Can I do this in the new system? It doesn't appear so and this irritates me.

But then, as capitalistically glib as it is, they say "you get what you pay for" and Blogger is as free as they come.


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