©2023 michael raven
New comment spam tactics alert for y’all… I haven’t seen some of these before, so I am sharing them with you.
First, I had someone who has never interacted with the site use the pingback feature to link to their own work by hyperlinking to a recent post of mine within their own writing to get folks (namely me) to follow the link back. The actual page does not actually mention my site at all, nor me, nor quote my writing. It is just a hyperlink within their text, which is not the intended purpose of a pingback. The fact that there are multiple pingbacks to other sites with no mention of the sites is proof enough for me of their intent.
Secondly, on my contact form someone asked how they could pay to be featured on this site as a writer. I’ve never solicited material from other writers and I won’t with this site (I can’t image how I would do it elsewhere either, as I am generally opposed to promoted writing). I most definitely will not take cash to feature your writing on this site. Combined with the author’s name that is associated with an actress/singer who uses the same name (although it is a common enough surname and given name to be possibly legit), I have marked that request as spam for Akismet to add to their filters on the off chance it is. Perhaps it isn’t spam, but there have been zero interactions with the person (or bot) submitting the comment otherwise on this site, which increases my suspicion level (I’m a bit on the paranoid side of cautious when it comes to internet scams).
Finally, I recently received a Reader follow and email follow from someone who interacted for a brief moment, but doesn’t seem to be aware that they did anything along those lines. I won’t go into the details in case I’m wrong but everything screams phishing and/or catfishing the more I looked into the site. Or someone who might need serious professional help, at the bare minimum. Still, it is a potential vector for spam, so I dropped that hot potato and might stop Reader follows and the email sub.
It also should be noted that I do not follow other bloggers by request, nor do I allow comments linking to other sites that do not appear to be commenting for any other reason than to try and drive traffic towards their site. I delete those comments and, if that kind of comment comes too frequently, they get marked manually as spam. If you write something I am interested in, I will continue to check you out and possibly follow your site. But I won’t do it just because you ask me to. And no — I never share my followers lists for free, barter, or sale — don’t be absurd.
I promote other sites because I like what they offer and think someone else might like it too. Not as a matter of trade.
I love interactions with folks when you feel up to it. I do not like self-serving interactions or attempts to get information from me someone doesn’t need (e.g., email) when they have no history of interactions.