How To Stop "Spam Comments" Without Countless Tough Decisions
I am putting this post in business because what it is really about is how to help Persona Paper survive as a business. There has been a lot of talk here about "spam comments." I have seen this defined as "a short, generic comment that adds nothing to the post." Basically, a comment that is not meaningful. "Nice comment" is often used as an example, but that is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The problem, as I see it, is deciding just how much of that iceberg is jutting out above surface where it can poke holes in our ship and where exactly the waterline may be in relation to "meaningful."
Here is a list of potential spam comments, all of which I have seen posted multiple times by users on other sites, most likely by cut-and-pasting:
I like the post.
Thanks for sharing.
I never thought of that.
This really made me think.
I look forward to more from you.
Your words are truly inspiring to me.
Your articles are making this site a joy to visit!
I could go on, but the point is, spam comments are not always extremely short, nor are they always easy to spot. To make it more complicated, some of these so-called spammers will combine their comments into even longer comments that really say nothing...
Nice post! I agree. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to more from you.
And much like pornography, which we may not be able to define but know it when we see it, we do not all draw the line at the same place. What offends one may not offend another. They may, in fact, find it pleasing. And let's get down to it -- what really irks us is not that someone called our post "nice," but that we know they did not read the post. So how do we know when to take action against these comments?
My suggestion is to not try to monitor and judge every comment and instead look for two things. First, anyone posting the same comment over and over should be grounds for expulsion from the site and fofeiture of payment. That takes care of the cut and pasters no matter what length they make their comment. Second, inappropriate comments such as saying "nice post" when someone posts about their grandmother dying or "thanks for sharing" on a post about losing a pet should get you booted as well. Since comment spammers do not read the post, they are bound to make this mistake fairly frequently.
Trying to review every comment to decide if it is a spam comment will be way too time consuming. As the site gets bigger, more and more cut and paste commentors are sure to appear. The criteria for judging spam comments should not be what it says or how meaningful it is, but if it is repeated and/or if it is inappropriate. While this may still allow opinions into the equation, it is a much more straight forward way of dealing with the issue than basically asking someone to make difficult decisions on a comment by comment basis.
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