I have a question of fact and, since I’m posting it on a subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune Newspaper, I thought I’d invite response from the Editor-in-Chief or whoever is delegated the role of on-line Comments Editor or OnLine Technologies Programmer or whoever is in the decision-making capacity most closely related to this matter.
A news site puts up (publishes?) an article for viewing. It’s not controversial, not momentous, salacious, heartwarming, groundbreaking, maybe not even a current events issue; not much of a big deal – something like “Unpublished manuscript from Edgar Allan Poe discovered in Baltimore Attic.”
There’s really nothing much to say. Nevertheless, the first – and often the only – comment posted is someone using the space to say “My step-father’s mistress’ third cousine’s aunt-in-law makes $16billion a week on-line. Follow this link to learn how: www.iamasleazyspammer.biz”
They’re not even contributing to a discussion of the article. I mean, they’re not all that easy to detect when they’re buried within the discussions of a hot topic, but they should be easy enough to weed out of a mundane info-leak. In fact, those mundane info-leaks where they show up as the sole faux comment could really be the harvesting grounds for name-gathering software to find the spam-commenters. Why, oh why aren’t these guys put on a shared blacklist? Why aren’t these posts detected and deleted within minutes (at least within hours) of being posted?
The bottom of this news article includes a perfect example of the kind of garbage I’m talking about: http://www.rr.com/articles/2014/02/20/g/gov-t-looking-into-atf-operations-in-4-cities