Akismet flagged a comment as spam and I had not seen the spam technique used before, so I was fooled. I reviewed the comment and approved it, but the name, Michael G. Redmond, made me wonder a bit more (Redmond, WA is the home of Microsoft). So I goggled it. Oops. I remarked the comment as spam. Why?
The same comment, word for word, was also a book review on Amazon (see here). A really nice trick that avoids most of the red flags that spam usually has.
So why did I initially accept the comment? Because the comment, unlike most spam:
- Actually referred to the topic at hand (Top 7 Reasons for Security Certification).
- Was intelligent, lacked typos and grammatical mistakes, and had the feel of legitimacy.
- Did not promote the website linked to the commentor’s name.
Why should I have rejected it outright?
- The email address of the commentor (you can enter anything you want, of course) ended in @cisa.certification.com.
- The link embedded in the commentor’s name was URL-shortened (not totally uncommon) and went to a computer hardware site in the UK.
- The comment criticized a CISA book, but didn’t note the title. That puzzled me until I realized that it wasn’t necessary in the comment’s original context: an Amazon book review.
- Finally, Akismet flagged it. And she has a lot more experience with spam than me.
So why did I decide to accept initially?
- Every blogger loves comments, especially intelligent comments.
- The comment added to the discussion and bolstered a suggestion I’ve made before (see #2 in How to Pass Certification Exams).
- See #1.
- I had a brain fault.
- See #1.
This was the first time I ever overrode Akismet’s work. So watch out for this technique when you review your flagged comments.
When in doubt, trust Akismet.
Tell me about your spam experiences you’ve had, or just leave an intelligent comment.
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