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.




User Comments: 8

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fimbles fimbles said:

BUY IT NOW!!! Super Cheap Viagron!! The natural alternative to superglue and a splint!!

Half price today only!! Congratulations you are our 1 millionth customer!!!!

he he he

Captain828 Captain828 said:

IMO, the spam/real posts rapport is highly dependable on one thing: site/forum policy.

Making everyone have to register to post makes it easy to ban the account (or even blacklist the IP), while a hefty number of admins for sub-forum duty keeps everything in check.

Other good measures might be removing HTML code support (or limiting it only to old enough users), deploying CAPTCHA (or a similar anti-bot service) and adding the possibility to vote posts, where if under a certain threshold the post's content gets hidden (which happens 99% of the time with spam).

From the sites I visit on a daily or weekly basis, I would place the amount of spam at below 5% of all posts, with some sites even below 1%, TechSpot included.

Off-topic: don't we normally use a can of spam as the article's pic in these cases?

Captain828 Captain828 said:

"Congratulations, you are the 999,999,999,999 visitor! Click HERE to claim your prize!"

Seriously now, I actually got that message once. lol

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@captain828: Excellent points. As for the image: I'll go change it for humor's sake .

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Youtube, especially, is swamped with adbots and spam messages like those mentioned here. I agree with Captain on a number of his points, yet even with those security measures in place, a crafty spammer will find a way around them. Currently, youtube has no direct way to report users that spam, other than a "Spam" link next to their post. These rarely work, and are policed even less. Justin is correct in saying that to police the more popular sites must surely be a monumental task.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With that said, go download free XXX movies now at www.I-AM-AN-*****.com

fimbles fimbles said:

SPAM FACTS!!!

The deep, dark truth about Spam. Also some nifty trivia. Impress your friends and relatives!

Ingredients:

Chopped pork shoulder meat with ham meat added.

Salt (for binding, flavour, and firmness)

Water (to help in mixing)

Sugar (for flavour)

Sodium Nitrite (for colour and as a preservative)

Yum yum!

Nutrition Information For SPAM (original style):

Calories Per Serving: 170

Calories Per Serving From Fat: 140

Serving Size: 2 oz.

Servings Per Container: 6 (large) or 3.5 (small)

Total Fat: 16g

Saturated Fat: 6g

Cholesterol: 40mg

Sodium: 750mg

Total Carbohydrates: 0g

Fiber: 0g

Sugars: 0g

Proteins: 7g

Vitamin A: 0%

Vitamin C: 0%

Calcium: 0%

Iron: 2%

Deee-licious!

Nifty Spam Trivia!

By World War II, Hormel had sold twenty thousand tons of Spam. Then, during the wartime meat rationing, Spam got popular...

If all the cans of Spam ever eaten were put end-to-end, they would circle the globe at least ten times.

In the U.S. alone, 3.8 cans of Spam "are consumed every second"(assuming SPAM is eaten 24 hours a day, 365.25 days a year).

Senator Robert Byrd of West Viginia eats a sandwich of SPAM and mayonnaise on white bread three times a week.

Residents of Hawai'i eat an average of four cans of SPAM per person per year, more than in any other place on Earth (Elsewhere in the Universe, who knows?).

By 1959, a billion cans of SPAM had been sold. The two billion mark was hit in 1970, followed by three billion in 1980, four billion in 1986, and five billion in 1993. That's a lot of SPAM!

In Korea, SPAM is sold in stylish presentation gift boxes of nine cans each. SPAM stolen from army PXs can be found on the Korean black market. And there are Korean imitations called Lo-Spam, Dak, Plumrose, and Tulip, to ensure that no one need go without.

Nikita Krushchev once credited SPAM with the survival of the WWII Russian army. ''Without SPAM, we wouldn't have been able to feed our army,'' he said.

SPAM is sold in over 99% of U.S. grocery stores.

The SPAM luncheon meat trademark is registered in 93 countries.

Over 60 million people in the U.S. eat SPAM.

SPAM is made in two U.S. locations - Austin, Minnesota, and Fremont, Nebraska - and seven other countries: England, Australia, Denmark, Phillipines, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

In 1989, the U.S. armed forces bought 3.3 million pounds of SPAM.

Over 141 million cans of SPAM are sold worldwide each year.

Isn't that amazing? But it's all true!

These amazing facts are not my work unfortunaly.. I can only aspire to be as knowledgable as the original author..

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