who posts spam messages to comment sections

Seems many comment sections on news sites and elsewhere are flooded by spam postings. Are there “bots” that are capable of doing this (and how do they do it?) or is it worth human labor to do this? It seems like a rather futile way to get business, no?

Yep - there are bots that do that. And they’re the bane of our existence.

In many cases, their goal isn’t to make a sensible post or to entice people into following the links. All they’re trying to do is plant links on as many pages as possible to increase the search engine rankings of the pages they’re pointing to.

Ahhh. I wondered what the benefit was. Why don’t they strike here (SD)?

They do. The mods are pretty good about deleting them quickly. I know I’ve reported a few over the years.

Yes, we do get some spammers here, including some comment spammers.

First of all, if it’s a simple one-time message, any moderator at all will remove it and ban the spammer, whether it’s our assigned forum or not. Most spam message and new threads are pretty easy to identify, although sometimes we get cases like the person who signs up, starts posting messages, and has a commercial site as their sig…and they show their sig on each post. We usually tell them that this is against the rules.

We keep files on spammers, and we’ve blocked some domains and IPs because more than one spammer posts from that IP, or uses that domain. We only do this if we don’t have any legit users from them, though.

I think that part of our success is that we allow all of the moderation staff to remove spam without regard as to whether or not it’s their assigned forum. Since we read and post in other forums, if we happen across some spam, we wish it into the cornfield and ban the spammer right then and there.

They do. In a typical day I’ll ban two or three of them, but we try to get them before they post, when possible. We’ve banned thousands of spammers. It’s just that we have enough mods to get rid of most of them within a few minutes, and SDMB posters are very diligent about reporting these posts.

Some spammers are bots, others are people who get paid to do it. I’ve always wondered if that really pays for them. And at the same time I’m hoping they don’t get paid if their posts get instantly whisked off the site. But I don’t know the economics of it.