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Is Flickr under attack by spam?

Has anyone else noticed an increase of spam comments on Flickr lately? I noticed my first spam comment there only last week, complained about it, and the comment and user were both deleted shortly afterwards. I thought nothing more of it.

This morning I got an unwelcome shock when I checked my Flickr comments through Bloglines. More spam comments. There’s a screenshot below. When I clicked through to the photos in question both comments had been deleted but later on another spam comment appeared and I now suspect any comment left by users with usernames starting with “a” with a mixture of upper and lower case characters and digits. Maybe it’s time they invested in an Akismet license for Thanks Lloyd for the reminder!

Continue reading “Is Flickr under attack by spam?”


Is spam now self defeating?

distasteful.gif Has anyone else noticed that the new generation of gif based stock-trading spams are getting really hard to read? In the last one I had to squint and look really carefully to find out what stock was hot and a sure-buy today!

For a moment I was reminded of the times when I left comments on a Typepad or Blogspot blog before hitting J to junk the thing. Pretty backgrounds too.


Thinkhouse PR – what's up?

As Damien’s post is missing from Google I think it’s up to the rest of us to spread the word.

Despite contacting them several times over the course of a few weeks Thinkhouse PR continued to spam Damien with product announcements and press releases. On August 23rd he sent a formal complaint to the Data Protection Commissioner and being a blogger, wrote about it too. It is this post that has disappeared from Google’s search. It might be something as innocent as a Google refresh or it might be banned.

If you live outside Ireland, please search for “Thinkhouse PR” and leave a comment here if you see Damien’s post on the front page. Thanks.

Tom has also covered this issue and found out that the Data Protection Commissioner apologised to Thinkhouse PR for investigating them.

Bizarrely, Jane McDaid of Thinkhouse PR in a comment on James‘ site said that the Data Protection Office had apologised for having to follow up the complaint!

Later.. Damien posted the letter he received from the Commissioner. They did investigate, but I think someone in Thinkhouse PR needs to come up with another reason. They stated that it took up to 2 days to remove a user from their lists. Unfortunately for them Damien received his last spam correspondence from them 14 days or more after contacting them. Someone should get a slap on the wrist for this.


Spam Spam Spam, Come on up and get your spam!

Here’s an updated list of recent spam to this list. It’s updated every few minutes so you can see a snippet of the spam that’s being deleted automatically here by Kitten’s Spaminator and diligent updating of keywords. Go wild!

I need to think about this a bit more. WPMU supports multiple blogs, run by multiple different people, all of whom can update their spam word lists. Wouldn’t it be useful to have a “I trust the following blogs” list so that spam words can be shared between blogs?

Slightly related, I started using PEAR Cache to cache frequently used database calls. Stuff like the “last posts” and other plugins now use that. It’s working very well and load on the server has gone down!

Oh, and when you’re updating to the latest CVS version of WordPress, a database table has changed. I ran the following to update my tables:
cd wp-inst/wp-content/blogs; for i in *; do echo "ALTER TABLE wp_"$i"_users CHANGE dateYMDhour user_registered DATETIME DEFAULT '0000-00-00 00:00:00' NOT NULL "| mysql wordpress_db; done