Sunday, March 14, 2010

Links in Comments and Parasitism

Today, a gentleman named John left a comment on the Solovki post.  The comment said:
Absolutely beautiful picture. I'd love to go and see other countries and their cultures.
This seemingly-innocuous sentence is actually a little trap — when you click on the word "picture", it takes you to John's gardening blog.  Why does John want you to go to his blog?  To create a possibility of you clicking on an ad, so John can make some passive income.  He also gets a little boost from the search engines by having a one-way link from a hugely popular resource (proof: google "terry gross x ira glass").

I wouldn't have minded if John simply left a URL.  It's the trickery that basically makes me feel like I'm letting a total scumbag crash on my couch, possibly forever.

I don't want to moderate comments, it just seems to kind of defeat the purpose of the internet.

So I decided to disable links in comments.  Well, you can't — Blogger doesn't have such an option. It's really not that hard though, it's not like comments are graffiti — it's just HTML. So I added some special magic codes to replace an anchor tag with its text.

I figure if a commenter's intentions are pure, he'll probably leave an actual URL, in which case the reader will have to select the link and paste it into a new tab's navigation bar.  Commenters with impure intentions — ones that try to trick my readers into clicking ads on their gardening blogs — will leave us with possible non sequiturs.  In John's case, the special magic codes simply turn him into an extra super-nice internet guy.

1 comment:

  1. what a chop! You should post details of how other can block these people. They really P me off