Gawker Comment Spam
March 16, 2013 10:17 AM   Subscribe

What is up with the spam in the Gawker comments? Why have they not been able to filter them out yet?

"Nolan. if you think Edith`s blog is something, yesterday I bought a great Jaguar XJ since getting a cheque for $7846 this last four weeks and more than ten thousand this past-month. it's actualy the most-comfortable job I've ever done. I started this 10-months ago and straight away was making more than $78 per hour. I went to this website..."
posted by Keith Talent to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Actually a quite reasonable question. So, yes, you would think that this would be a company that could eradicate commenter spam. But it's a hard task.

And for a fairly large company, there aren't actually that many tech employees. For instance, Vox (publishers of The Verge and SB Nation sites) have something like ten designers on staff, not even counting tech folks. Gawker has essentially one designer. (At least in the U.S.) Companies like BuzzFeed have phenomenally large tech departments, dwarfing Gawker's. As well, Gawker has been fairly busy the last nine months rolling out its new tech components, currently up on a number of the sites, rolling onto Gawker itself shortly. That's taking up most of the time and energy, I think.

Another component is that for a long time Gawker employed a community manager to handle, approve and eliminate comments. That position was eliminated a year or so ago.

So, basically "why isn't x better" is the same answer as with any other company: it's not a priority. I'd imagine that, like the most of the rest similarly situated, they've taken some pretty good moves against commenter spam, but to totally nail it isn't in the list of must-dos.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:37 AM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Well, they use their own platform, Kinja. And as RJR says above they haven't invested enough in either the platform or the community management.

It's not coping well with spammers adapting by including plausible looking introductions to comments that bork the spam spotting algorithms.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:53 AM on March 16, 2013

The comment spam doesn't affect page views so there's no incentive to spend money on fixing it.
posted by bleep at 11:08 AM on March 16, 2013 [7 favorites]

I could have sworn I saw something on io9 a few days ago that as part of their redesign they're going to start holding comments as a way to eliminate spam. Of course, the redesign does not seem to include a decent search, so I can't find that post.
posted by rtha at 11:13 AM on March 16, 2013

I wonder if some of them are fake even? Gawker had a really loyal and quite hilarious set of commenters, many of whom were pretty upset with the redesign.
posted by bquarters at 11:57 AM on March 16, 2013

Here's the post about Kinja/Gawker's new comment approval system.
posted by octothorpe at 12:33 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

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