more spam

More Spam

Recently we’ve had a couple of clients reach out to us in alarm because they are seeing more spam. They see more spam comments, more spam subscriptions, and more spam emails. It’s not their imaginations. Check out some statistics:

  • Americans received 225 billion spam texts in 2021, a 157% increase over 2021.
  • 56.5% of all email is spam, according to DataProt.
  • 60% of social media users say they see spam comments daily.

We can’t vouch for the accuracy of these claims, frankly, but they seem plausible enough to validate individuals’ feelings that they are just seeing too much spam, and more of it lately.

Why is this happening?

Blame AI

It’s not a lot of trouble to create and spew spam, but generative AI tools make it ridiculously easy. The resulting spam sounds convincingly like English, too, which means that we waste more time checking to be sure that it is in fact spam.

Bots have been behind a lot of spam for years. Still, readily available AI tools have definitely made spam even more ubiquitous.

Popularity is part of the equation

The good news is that one of the main reasons websites start to get more spam when they make efforts to be more visible is that…they are more visible. If your website is way under the radar, you don’t get attacked by bots as frequently as more visible websites.

The clients who are feeling troubled by spam are also seeing increased traffic to their websites. So when you spill up your site, buckle down on social media, or begin investing in ads, you can also brace yourself for more spam.

Don’t worry

Spam is irritating. It takes time to delete those emails, comments, and subscribers. It takes even more time to respond to emails just in case they are sincere business queries. We would like to see spammers facing negative consequences for their actions. But it doesn’t do your website any harm, it doesn’t mean that someone has hacked your site, and it doesn’t cost you anything as long as you don’t fall for a scam.

Here are some things that can help:

  • Install Akismet. Especially after it has learned from time spent working with your website, Akismet can really cut down on spam. Professional sites must pay for it now, but we have not yet found a less expensive and equally effective alternative. Feel free to tell us if you know of one.

  • Batten down the hatches at your website. You can disallow comments and subscribers in your settings, require strong CAPTCHAs for your forms, and not have to deal with much spam relating to your website.  That may not reduce email spam, but it’s a start. The consequences: you will no longer have the comments and fewer actual people will fill out your forms. Balance the costs and benefits before deciding.
  • Be philosophical. One of the clients increased security and cut off contacts, while the other said he could tolerate having to delete things. If you accept the deletions, check out WP Bulk Delete, a plugin that makes it a breeze to get rid of spam comments.

The old saying goes, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” This applies to spam as well. We all hate it but nearly all of us have to deal with it.


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