Websense: 95% of web commentary is spam

By Justin Mann on September 16, 2009, 1:47 PM
No matter the subject or style of a site, there is a common feature among them that everyone recognizes: Commentary. After every article and blog submission there is a chance for readers to participate by making a comment.

It's one of the fundamental aspects of Web 2.0 and is what makes modern websites so dynamic. The open nature of most "on-demand commentary" leaves it prone to abuse, however -- we're all familiar with ad and spambots filling up a forum with nonsense. Just how much web commentary is human-generated versus automated?

According to a recent study, real human interaction is apparently only a minor footnote in a sea of spam, malicious links and ads. A study by Websense earlier this year concluded that an overwhelming 95% of all user-generated comments are actually some form of ad -- or worse.

The Websense study focused on the world's most commonly visited sites, which largely consists of social networking and search sites. A little under half of those destinations provided some outlet for user-generated content, giving spammers more than enough room to roam.

It might be a problem for administrators, but how about users? On most forums (like ours), it's generally easy to discern an adbot from a real person. However, the more public a venue is, the harder it becomes to distinguish legitimate comments. Policing that sort of data on immensely popular sites like YouTube is surely overwhelming.

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.