What do you do if you aren’t sure it’s spam? | Fun Questions

July 26, 2014 Fun Questions 22

Fun Questions LogoJoin me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

What do you do if you aren’t sure it’s spam?

I recently spent hours catching up on comments. I had gotten very behind. But I wasn’t quite as behind as I’d thought I was because a few of those comments had been spam. Even with Akismet and Comment Luv a few spammers made their way through. *sigh* I always find myself wondering why they even bother. Don’t they know we just delete it?

But maybe they bother because sometimes they trick us. I mean if they managed to get through Akismet and Comment Luv, that’s a fairly clever spammer right? Sometimes I can see how it got through but have no doubt it’s spam. Other times, I’m not so sure.

For example, I got a comment that made absolute perfect sense with one of my blog posts but the commenter’s link was not at all book related. Instinct says, spam. But I can’t help but think that may not be true. I mean, not everyone who reads our blogs are book bloggers themselves right? And I wonder, would I put my link in if I were commenting on a post I read about IDK… let’s say gardening? I have a blog so why not, right? But would they then think I was cleverly concealed spam?

So I’ve found that in a few uncertain situations I went ahead and answered the comment as if it was normal. There’s a part of me that’s pretty sure it’s spam. But if it is a real person, I don’t want to ignore them. What worries me, though, is – does replying to a spam comment encourage more spam comments? And… if that was a spam comment will I get more from the same location and continue being uncertain if it’s spam? And if I can’t tell for sure, does it really matter? LOL I don’t know!

What do you do if you aren’t sure it’s spam?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

22 Responses to “What do you do if you aren’t sure it’s spam? | Fun Questions”

  1. A Voracious Reader

    I haven’t had any weird comments that I can recall. And I do check my spam just to be sure nothing gets shuttled there that shouldn’t which happens more than I care to figure out. It’s a mystery to me how the spam filter decides.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…The Sunday Post ~ 51st EditionMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I feel bad because I had neglected my spam filter – probably mostly because I had enough comments that had made it through lol – but I’ve recently discovered that a decent number of good comments ended up in there. So who knows how that thing works.
      Berls recently posted…#COYER Read-a-thon | New to Me!My Profile

  2. Lexxie
    Twitter:

    I’ve had some pretty ‘smart’ spam comments lately as well, and it was pretty freaky, because it mentioned the book, and one of the characters, but then, the link wanted be to buy sports shoes 😀
    I have one blogger whose comments somehow always ends up in my spam, and I think that’s really sad! I have no idea why, either, because she doesn’t use loads of links, and her blog is a bookblog.
    Great post, Berls 🙂
    Lexxie recently posted…COYER Summer Vacation Update #1My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I just yesterday discovered a couple comments that had gone to my spam and was shocked because there was nothing spammy about them! 1 link, perfect English, talking about the books – it made me wonder exactly how these things decide what is and isn’t spam! I feel bad because the comments had been sitting there undiscovered for like a week :/ I need to do better checking that.
      Berls recently posted…COYER-SV Update | We’re More Than Halfway!My Profile

  3. Lola
    Twitter:

    I’ve had a few of those comments as well, mostly comments that say very little, but they are applicable to a post. I’ve also had some weird comments that could apply to a book review, but they seemed a bit off to the post they actually where. Usually the link to the site was weird as well. I have to admit that when in doubt I usually delete them, I don’t want to risk it being a spammer or worse having a virus on their site and me on one of my followers clik on it. But yeah there are some comments when I actually wonder if they are spam or not, it’s always a bit difficult deciding what to do with them.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #84My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      The fear of viruses I think is my main concern – it would suck to get a one and I would feel really bad if one of my followers got a virus because of clicking on a link they found at my blog. I like the idea that a couple have made of deleting the links but leaving the comment – I think I’m going to start doing that when in doubt.
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 51st EditionMy Profile

  4. Jennifer

    I will typically click through the link to see if it is a legit blog or site. If it is a site selling things, then I mark it as spam. If it’s a blog, then I would leave it be.

    100% spam so far lol.
    Jennifer recently posted…ARC: FAN ART by Sarah TregayMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL figures right? I think where I’ve been stuck I haven’t really been sure if it’s a blog or a website. Tons of advertisements & talk about a product, but kind of has the feeling of a blog. I think when that happens (and it’s only happened like 3 or 4 times, so not a lot) I’m going to start deleting the link but leaving the comment.
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 51st EditionMy Profile

  5. Lark
    Twitter:

    Great question, Berls! I think that if the link looks like a legitimate blog, not a company website, scam site, or advertising, it’s probably a blog and therefore as safe as any book blog. And not every commenter even has a blog – I get comments from people who have created a GFC account just to be able to comment. They follow a bunch of blogs but don’t appear to have one. As long as the comment is clearly pertinent to the post, and the link doesn’t look too scammy, I answer it and let it stand.

    I think you’re right; you can usually tell if it’s spam because it’s either quirky, weird, or much too general.

    I like the suggestions to eliminate the link if the comment looks real but the link is questionable, but I don’t think I have that option in Blogger’s comment interface.
    Lark recently posted…News & Notes – 7/26/14My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Yeah I don’t think you have that option on Blogger either, but I do like the idea. I do get comments from people who don’t have a blog, but those are never suspicious since there’s no link and spam comments seem to always have a link. I’ve been on the fence when I get to a page that’s so professional I can’t tell if it’s a super professional looking blog or a website – that’s probably a situation where I should just delete the link and let the comment stand. I think that will be my new plan.
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

  6. Haley Keller
    Twitter:

    I actually wonder if I may be included in this since I’ve commented on your blog before and my entire blog isn’t books. I do blog about books, but I blog about pretty much everything that I’m interested in which means more than just books. When I comment on a book blog (which is most of what I read anyway), I try to go through the options it gives me on the links. I actually have to add a link because my blog is connected to my account, and it doesn’t give me an option to not add a link to one of my blog posts. The thing is though, I only have so many options listed.

    Lately I haven’t been able to write many book reviews for instance because so much as been going on. However, I have been blogging a bit about random things because it helps relieve my stress. Only one of my options right now pertain to books (well, two if I include the Harry Potter post that’s an option too), so that’s the one I’m choosing for this comment. It was really close to there being no book related options though, and then I would have had no choice but to choose something else. I just want to comment, have to add a link to my blog, and have no book related options sometimes. I do blog about books fairly often though. In fact, I probably blog about books far more than any of my other interests.

    I’d say that if the comment pertains to your post, it’s almost certainly a real comment because I don’t picture spammers as putting enough effort into actually read a post and figure out what they need to comment on it. If the others are like me, then they just might have to add a link because the accounts are connected and there’s no way not to.
    Haley Keller recently posted…Book Review: The Zero Marginal Cost Society by Jeremy RifkinMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      See! This is exactly what I’m talking about. Now I don’t *think* I would have thought that with your blog since the link takes me to what is clearly a book blog, even if that’s not the content of the post. But not all book blogs scream “books” and it’s not like I’m trying to close my audience to only book bloggers either. That’s why I think you’re right – answer the comments, act as if they’re real people and worse case scenario? I replied to a spammer. Oh well 🙂
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

  7. Carol
    Twitter:

    If I get a comment from a source that seems off or weird, or the comment itself seems strange, I delete it. When it seems like spam but the comment is not offensive or the link does not lead to an offensive site I just leave it, after all it is not hurting anyone or anything to have it in my comment section.
    Carol recently posted…New Acquisition From The Library!My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      This is so ironic… if it weren’t for this post I wouldn’t have been reminded to check the comments that end up in my spam and if that hadn’t happened I wouldn’t have gotten your comment! Can you believe it marked you as spam? And then the things that do get through?! I just don’t get it!

      Anyway, I think you’re right Carol – It probably isn’t hurting anything to let a comment you’re not to sure about get through – that’s why I answer them. I’d rather reply to a bot than ignore a person!
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

  8. Jan
    Twitter:

    I haven’t had too many comments I couldn’t tell were spam immediately. I think I’ve only had one or two that made it through the filters and that I wasn’t sure of. I’ve also had a couple get caught up in the filters which I’m pretty sure were legitimate comments. I’ve added them to my posts and left the others in the posts.

    I’ve answered the comments and then waited to see if anything else happened. As far as I could tell nothing else happened! However, it’s amazing the spam that gets caught–so obvious!

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      You’ve just reminded me that I really need to check the comments that get caught by spam. Generally speaking they are really obvious spam, but every once in a while one does get through that isn’t spam. But as far as I can tell, you’re right, nothing seems to happen if you answer a comment that might be spam.
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

  9. Angie F.

    These comments terrify me! I’ve gotten several that actually specifically mention the book I’m reviewing or a character from it. But then the link looks weird, and upon reading the comment a second time it is really weird and random even if it does make sense. But mostly the link is weird. I always go with my gut and mark it as spam. A few of these comments had obvious spam links, but you’re so right about how it’s possible someone who’s not a book blogger felt like leaving a comment. It’s hard to tell, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I wouldn’t want another commenter to decide to visit the site of another “fan” of the book only to be met with…who knows what!
    Angie F. recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #140My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Oh Angie I hadn’t even thought of that! Another reason to worry 🙁 You’re right, someone could click thinking that if they commented on my blog that I know them and their “safe”. It’s when the links aren’t obvious that I get stuck – maybe the best thing is to disable the link…
      Berls recently posted…Write On July ReviewAThon 2014My Profile

  10. Julie S.
    Twitter:

    If it looks like a legit comment and a legit website, I do leave the comment be. Since I visit the blogs that comment to return as well as reply to comments, I can see whether that site is a spam site or not. If the comment is legit but the site is questionable, I’ve edited a few comments to remove the URL and then left the comment alone. I don’t think I replied to those though.
    Julie S. recently posted…Sharing the Bookish Love – June 25, 2014My Profile

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