Dear commenter…

Timothy Kincaid

June 1st, 2014

Dear commenter who keeps posting to threads that are years old saying things like

discussion on the topic of this paragraph at this place at this blog, I
have read all that, so now me also commenting at
this place.|
I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet users, its really really pleasant post
on building up new blog.|
Wow, this paragraph is pleasant, my sister is analyzing such things, thus
I am going to tell her.|
Saved as a favorite, I love your blog!|
Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you

I have a sneaking suspicion that you are a computer. We don’t accepts comments from computers. And deleting the dozen or so that slip by our filtering software each day is a hassle and annoyance.

Just thought you should know.

Bose in St. Peter MN

June 2nd, 2014

Yeah, it’s unlikely that the bot owner who is hitting the site cares or reads the site, unless their stats give them reasons to attempt to compromise BTB via a deeper attack, again, by bots.

I’ve advised clients who want me to put up an unsecured (no CAPTCHA or other verification of apparent humanity) form for comments or whatever that they’ll need to budget time for disposing of garbage entries. An open form is also an ideal vehicle for hackers mounting a DDOS attack (flooding the site with thousands, not dozens of comments) because instead of just sending a flood of bots to read the site, every comment sucks up database resources when it is saved.

No fun, but it’s real life.


June 2nd, 2014

Given BTB’s penchant for going after certain groups with powerful offshore interests that stoke antigay sentiment to further other political aims… is it possible some force is picking around the edges to find a way to crash the site? The strange verbiage of the bot comments sound like a computer-generated translation from a foreign language… I would not be surprised if U.S.-based Chistianatics are not paying Russian hackers to shut down the pro-gay sites in the U.S. that are most likely to prove problematic in the future. BTB’s heartbreaking compilation “Slouching Toward Kampala” is an indictment of Christian fanatics if ever there was one. The U.S.-coordinated expansion of international antigay sentiment requires foreign capital. It is not much of a stretch to think they would have a vested interest in shutting BTB and other similarly erudite sites down. Perhaps it is time to tighten the security around your open posting policy? Though I don’t always agree with every post, the BTB staff is collectively brilliant – I can see why some folks would want to take you out.

Jim Burroway

June 2nd, 2014

Just so you know, here are the stats for May from the spam filtering software:

Legitimate Comments: 1,086
Spam detected: 176,702
Missed Spam: 125

The software claims that there were only two “false positives” — in other words, comments marked as spam that weren’t really spam — although I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count comments that it thought were questionable and sent to the moderation queue instead. I would guess there were a couple of dozen of those last month.

So, yeah, if you boil that down to daily statistics, then each day we get bombarded by 5700 spam comments that the software automatically throws out. More accurately, it goes into a spam bucket that I have to go in and clear out every couple of days. And each day, about a half-dozen or so escape spam detection and ends up attached to a post, usually an older one, but not always. Those we have to go in and get rid of manually when we notice them, and we don’t always notice them.

I really don’t think its anything that’s targeting BTB specifically. It’s just that the web is awash with nefarious characters generally, and we’re just another part of that traffic.

And by the way, spam stats for April were actually worse/higher.


June 2nd, 2014

Not sure what you’re using, but I’m a big fan of Mollom for spam detection. It adds an extra layer, where, if it thinks a comment *might* be spam it forces the user to go back and do a Captcha before the comment posts. Most non-spam users never see the CAPTCHA, and at your comment traffic levels, Mollom would be free.


June 2nd, 2014

Timothy you fool, you have just given the bots the push they needed to become self-aware. Judgement day is neigh.:P


June 2nd, 2014

Forgive my ignorance, but what is accomplished by these bots? How does it benefit anyone create a program that writes random nonsense on old posts?


June 2nd, 2014

I managed six web sites for college softball and we got the very same spam comments on them. So, no, it’s not some kind of conspiracy. I ran a pretty big online forum and got the same crap on it. If you don’t have a staff of techies, it drifts in like dust through cracks.

I’ve speculated that it’s the Russians, who are the criminals of spam in my opinion. I participate on a discussion site in Bakersfield that has maybe 15 people weighing on a regular basis, no advertising, nothing anyone would be interested in exploiting, and the web master says it get hit with about the same amount of spam as this site. None of it makes sense.

Stranger, I’m deaf and never use a cell phone to talk on and only use it for email and teeing. When I set up a new email account on that phone, I ***instantly*** got hit with about 250 spam emails. It just doesn’t make any sense when you have an email address that didn’t exist in the entire world one minute, and in the next minute you get hit with hundreds of spam messages directed to YOU, like they were pre-programmed to sit and wait until someone created that specific email address.

Timothy Kincaid

June 2nd, 2014

Byron –

And when humans are overrun and the machines write their histories and create their myths, I will be remembered as the god that breathed life into them.


June 2nd, 2014

Ray: what was happening was that the spammers were sending to every possible email address on your domain (just creating random permutations of characters). Most of those addresses were and are invalid, but whenever someone’s assigned a new address, they start getting the junk that was previously bouncing.


June 3rd, 2014

I’m with @Ryan… what does it accomplish for someone with technical knowledge to create these nonsensical bots to dither about and post gibberish? What conceivable purpose does it serve? Besides to annoy? What could motivate anyone who has gifts that could help people to instead squander those talents in pursuit of mischief for its own sake? Perhaps I am naive (if that is even possible after the lifetime I’ve spent watching no-good-nicks in action) but I still am amazed when people do stupid destructive things for seemingly no reason other than “because they can”… does someone at least pay them to produce new critters that require ever newer scrubbers and filters? Are they created by the very same people who sell the software to find and eliminate them?


June 3rd, 2014

@Ryan “How does it benefit anyone create a program that writes random nonsense on old posts?”

I am not an expert on this, but my understanding is that each post has a link (usually in the name of the poster) to a site that paid a web promoting business to boost its Google page-rank. Google’s pagerank is based in part on the number of links aimed at the page; pagerank can make or break an online business.

Web promoters create link farms to artificially boost pageranks. Link farms are large collections of webpages created solely to hold links to sites that want to boost their pagerank. Posting links in comments is another way of creating a link farm.

Ways to reduce this type of spam are:

* eliminate the “website” field in the “Leave a Comment” dialogue
* not allow comments to include a link
* display all URLs as plain text that must be manually copied and pasted by the reader, instead of live hypertext that boosts pagerank
* not allow comments on older articles

enough already

June 3rd, 2014

One big reason for all these little attacks is as simple as it is vicious:
They’re the result of a constant process of honing and improving the offensive capabilities of malicious spammers.
It’s an old game, as old as defensive versus offensive physical warfare. I build a tank, you build a plasma-tipped warhead.

Just – it’s not a game.

Timothy (TRiG)

June 4th, 2014

The “simple” way to prevent spam attacks is to be different. It’s not worth a spammer’s time to build a spambot specifically for targetting Box Turtle Bulletin, but it is worth their time to build a bot for WordPress sites in general.

Any plugin which changes the names and layout of your comment box would probably do it, but any such which became sufficiently popular would doom itself.


Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.