The official USCIS blog – the Beacon – is turning into a legitimate spam heaven. I read a few posts today and quickly realized most of the comments were just spam. None of them is sophisticated or innovative in any way; in fact, they are the most common blog spam on the web.
From my own experience running blogs, the ratio of spam over real comments is more than 100 to 1. A basic CAPTCHA system can stop most machine generated spam – those filled with irrelevant keywords and links to junk websites. Nowadays spammers are hiring real people to get past the software filtering. They also attempt to make their comments look “real.” However, spam is spam. After seeing 10 or 20 of them, you’ll be able to tell which is which rather easily. There are also free programs, such as Akismet, that can do an excellent job catching this type of spam.
In my humble opinion, USCIS should be able to do a better job managing their only blog. With an annual budget nearly three billion dollars, USCIS probably has a large IT team, or outsource the entire project to a third-party technology firm. In either case, spam control shouldn’t be overlooked as it is now. Nobody can guarantee spam-free, but please, just get rid of the obvious.
Now, just for fun, I’m listing some of the comment spam received on this blog:
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