Hey Everyone! I am back here on Medium for another post! My computer is running sooo slowly right now… I am exporting a video and my graphics card is at max capacity! 😬 I am hoping my computer won’t crash.

Today I want to talk about an issue that has been getting worse in the past few weeks. I’ve seen YouTubers talk about it, bloggers talk about, it and seen it first hand EVERYWHERE. It is a huge problem across the web. What is it? It is comment bots.

Overview:

Okay, if you aren’t aware, comment bots leave comments like this:

Or this:

Certain bots, like the second example, are obvious. Extra letters, misspelled words, or sometimes random characters with no explanation.
You may be wondering: why would they leave such odd comments hinting that they like your blog?
Great question me! It is because when a blogger sees a nice comment, you feel inclined to visit the commenter's website. All bloggers do it, and often you will end up at a site somewhat related to your blog and run by someone like yourself. In other cases, you will end up at a spam site or a random social account.

WordPress has helped to eliminate it and almost all of my spam comments never appear on my blog and go straight to my spam folder! It is impressive how good WordPress’s algorithm for sorting works. Now I have in the past ended up seeing comments from legit followers who often comment on my blog end up in spam, I have just become good at checking for that. If you run a blog from another host or even self-host your blog, you may be in trouble.

In the past month, my spam comments have doubled. Yes, doubled!

As you can see in that screenshot, I am at 106 spam comments. I had around 50 around a month ago! Now, some of this is because I am slowly ranking higher in searches on certain search engines, but this is also because there are just more comment bots out there.

I recently had my first spam comment slip through the spam detection system:

You may be wondering how this got through the system… Well, my theory is that because of the URL looking like a regular blog URL and the commenter having a regular name that wasn’t something like “car insurance FREE!” or something like that, WP’s algorithm let it through. Now I manually flagged it as you can see in the screenshot, but it did make it through the system!

I actually saw a recent video from Peter Mckinnon and I was the third person to comment on it (since it released seconds ago) and there was a comment from PM, me, and the other was from a spam user saying: “I am subbing to anyone who subs to me”. This sub for sub thing is actually against YouTube policies. Sub for Sub happens everywhere, I find especially on Instagram, but the spam comments about it are showing up more and more.

Places like YouTube and WordPress are supposed to filter them out, and as I said, WordPress does for the most part. YouTube, right now, has the issue that the comments are being written with some fancy text. If you want to see more about the YouTube Spam, check out this video from Timeworks:
https://youtu.be/RdIkFcXE4iw

Interestingly, Timeworks seems to think that it is just people being annoying in some cases, but there is still a lot of bot comments.

I know that in the case of the WP comments that I am getting, it is bots. A lot of my comments come from “extraproxie” sites or “car insurance”. I actually recorded my screen as I went through all of my spam comments! You can check that out here if you are interested:

That is it for today’s post! I was hoping to answer the question: why? Right now, my best answer to it is that the bot makers are getting better at making bots comment on a larger scale. Thank you so much for reading! I’d love to know if any of you are getting spam comments on YouTube, WordPress, Instagram, etc. in the comments below! Have a wonderful week everyone!

-Digital Wonders & Smiles

I operate a small photography blog on WordPress and use Medium as a sort of second blog! You’ll find extra content about tech, photography, and more here!