Temporarily Disengaging Likes For Blog Comments – Spam “Likers”

There are things that happen with Word Press that the public does not know unless they visit the forums or read blog posts about certain issues.  Earlier this year, some Word Press bloggers were attacked by email followers with weird email addresses, all from the same domain.  Word press does give blog administrators ability to disconnect followers, and they also worked to prevent the fakers from following. That issue seems to have been resolved.

Now, me and others find loads of comments in the spam folder.  The only content is “what ?” and they seem to come in bunches of 20 to 25 at a time.  Since they never make it to the public board, people are not bothered by them.

The most recent game played by whomever it is, does expose their activity to the public.  The spammers are using “likes” to comments to make themselves publicly known.  They are taking time to actually open Gravatar accounts in order to perpetrate this nuisance.  I noticed that on some blogs that I recently commented on, “likes” were clicked to my comments by the same nonsensical and in some cases, obscene handles.

I’ve filed a report with Word Press support.  For the time being, until Word Press gets a handle on resolving this, I am disengaging “likes” for comments.

My Community Widget And The Ignorance Of Gossipers

Since we’re talking about Word Press functions, I would like to address something else that started circulating as a rumor by ignorant folks.  It deals with the My Community widget.  Several months ago, some ignorant person thinking they were ridiculing me, went on Twitter, posted a screenshot of My Community from this blog, and inferred that each Gravatar that appeared connected to this blog’s URL is my sock puppet.  If believed, it would mean that I have over 200 sock accounts!  When would I ever sleep and eat?!  Evidently, they have no experience with Word Press blogs, nor how the My Community widget operates, and made a fool of themselves by their ignorance.

The My Community widget is operated by Word Press.  For blogs that have that widget engaged, when blog followers interact by visiting, clicking like to blog posts, or commenting, their Gravatar appears under My Community.  The widget will display a maximum of 50 interactors and rotates so that the most recent participants appear as others scroll off.

The widget connects the URL to the blog with the Gravatar.  For example, you can hover over Gravatars under My Community, and at the bottom of the screen, the URL for the person’s blog will appear.  Or, you can simply click on their Gravatar and be taken to their blog.

There are also blog followers who do not have Word Press blogs.  People who subscribe to follow a blog but do not have a blog of their own, also appear under My Community. They do have a Word Press/Gravatar account so they can participate on Word Press blogs by clicking like to posts and comments, and submitting comments.   Because the program connects to blogs, when people don’t have a blog, it connects to the blog they interacted with.

For example, on this blog if you hover over a Gravatar and see the URL to this blog, it simply means that Word Press cannot connect that Gravatar account its own blog because the person does not have a Word Press blog.  For each blog they follow and participate on, the URL for that blog will appear when hovering over or clicking on their Gravatar.  If you click the Gravatar, it will return to the blog you are on.

When visiting the Gravatar profile of bloggers, one might see the number of Word Press followers.  That number is for followers who have blogs.   Word Press does not explain the technicalities of their system, but logic says that they can only track connections between those blogs that they host.  Other followers include those who do not have a Gravatar account and subscribe to follow by email, in addition to those who do have a Gravatar account but no blog of their own.

Blog administrators can see the number of email followers on the admin side of their blog by going under “Dashboard” then “Site Stats” and scrolling down to “Totals, Followers and Shares”.

If you would like more information on how to open a Gravatar account without opening a Word Press blog, this link will lead you through it.

Posted on 06/19/2018, in Potpourri and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. thanks for the information. I am such a computer idiot that I didn’t know any of this stuff. Off to muck about with the like button et al now! 😀

    Like

  2. crustyolemothman

    Dear Xena,

    Look at the bright side! You know you are on the right path when the evil empire feels the need to attack you and your community! Keep up the good work!!

    Like

    • Hi Mothman,
      Thanks for your kind words and your support. The spammers are attacking so many other blogs, that I don’t take it personal, but the attack falsely accusing me of having soc puppets was personal. It was also extremely ignorant.

      Like

  3. Xena , thank you for this detailed post. you know so much . It is really hortible all this spamming likes. I too just reported it wordpress. I ferl quite sickened by this spamming.. I need to reread this gravtar bit again..

    Like

  4. Thanks for this detailed post Xena. I saw similar spamming with the comments and using “likes” as well. I wonder if this happens to every blogger, or if there are certain kinds of bloggers who are especially vulnerable. I’ll start by asking on the WP forums.

    Like

    • Brendan,
      There’s no rhyme or reason for the blogs they find. The blogs have different interests. But, one thing I did notice yesterday is that on another blog where I comment, the spammers clicked “like” to my comments but not the comments of others.

      The forum now reporting and discussing this is https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/xyz-like-spam-is-back/

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is very helpful Xena.

        I noticed the same thing, so when I saw you make a post on this, I wanted to thoroughly read it.

        One thing I’m wondering (and you’ll see me ask this on the thread) is whether these likes are harmless (but annoying) or if they are looking to create harm?

        Like

        • Brendan,
          Because of their history of what they have previously attempted, this new move tells me that their main agenda was to make their presence publicly known. Someone on the forum about the email following by “xyz” suggested that it was intended to clog up the Word Press servers.

          Because I have stalkers, and they seem to pay special attention to “likes” for posts and comments, in addition to the number of blog followers, I don’t want them using the “xyz” likes as a conspiracy theory, such as accusing them of being my sock puppets. I’m pretty sure that Gravatar will get a handle on this and delete those accounts. It’s a shame that hosting companies have to work so hard to prevent evil.

          Like

    • Brendan,
      Don’t know if you’ve already read it, but this was posted on the forum,

      “There is no way this can harm your site or your account. This is an attempt by the spammers to get traffic to a specific site, as all these profiles link to the same set of Russian escort sites. Those sites might very well attempt to install malware on your computer, but as long as you don’t click on the usernames to visit those sites there is no danger.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s good to know and I’m relieved that I should be fine as long as I do my due diligence. Still, it’s a shame that there are people out there deliberately trying to cause harm to others.

        Like

        • Yes, Brendan. We should not have to walk on eggshells not knowing what or when “xyz” is going to appear and do again, but I think they have ran out of options at this point.

          Like

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