Comment spam (also called blog spam or link spam) is the placing or solicitation of links randomly on other sites, placing a desired keyword into the hyperlinked text of the inbound link. Guest books, forums, blogs and any site that accepts visitors comments are particular targets and are often victims of drive by spamming where automated software creates nonsense posts with links that are usually irrelevant and unwanted.
I think we’re all fairly familiar with comment spam at this point. It’s super annoying, and most blog platforms have tools to help us bloggers deal with it. That’s the status of things on the internet right now.
But when I started to get comment spam from OCLC, I really wondered what the heck was going on. Generally it’s presumed that spam comes from people who have paid a professional to generate it for them. The online viagra peddlars, for instance. But OCLC? Why would they do such an underhanded thing?
At first I thought it must be some kind of joke, and I just ignored it. But after a few such comments I started to get annoyed, and fired off a question to OCLC. I took a screenshot of my comments moderation page, uploaded it, and sent that along too, to demonstrate the problem. Why am I getting comment spam from these people? Is this the latest OCLC advertising blitz?
After a significant amount of confused back and forth with OCLC support (at first they thought I was complaining about getting spam email from them, in spite of the screenshot, and asked me if I’d signed up for something), they still have no idea why I’m getting these comments. They admit that the IP addresses (plainly visible in the screenshot) belong to professional spammers, which makes it look as if OCLC has paid these people to harrass me.
Anyone else getting OCLC spam? Anyone at OCLC want to take a crack at explaining this?
Edited to add: OCLC assures me that they had nothing to do with the spammers. I believe them, but I’d really like to know: what is the point of random, pointless comment spam? Who’s getting something out of this? It’s very random and strange.