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Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs

Quick Online Tips recently posted “How to Complain and Report Spam Blogger Blogs”, a good look at the procedures you need to take to report, and hopefully remove, splogs.

A splog is a “spam blog”, a blog that copies content from other blogs without permission (though there might be a link back), using that content as if it was their own. It’s a little more complex than that, as some mix and match content from many blogs, or mix and match content from different posts into one post. The key to identifying a splog is that the content is not their own, and typically there is no original content to be found.

Splogs tend to have content unrelated to the title and reported purpose of the blog. They also may use content taken from other blogs and stuff their own keywords into the post, promoting whatever they are selling like ringtones, porn sites, drugs, dating, casinos, etc.

For the most part, it is easy to spot a splog, but much harder to get it shut down. If they are using your content, you can use the and definitely take advantage of the step-by-step instructions offered by Quick Online Tips.

Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs – To WordPress.com

is also vulnerable to hosting splogs as there is no checks and balances upon request for a free WordPress.com blog to determine the intent of the user. That’s great, but it does result in abuse.

While the WordPress.com staff and volunteers do their best to keep an eye out for splogs, if you find one, report it using the FEEDBACK link in your WordPress Administration panel. Make sure you give them the URL/address and tell them you think it’s a spammer or splog. They will investigate it and are usually fairly quick in their response to removing the splog.

Remember, no matter what action you take to report or complain about a splogger, it takes time to get the site removed. Be patient. It can take a week or more to get a response let alone an action. There are no requirements on deadlines for a response or action in these matters. Be patient and take no other action until you have given the hosts plenty of time to respond. Do not take revenge, nor any public action until the proper procedures have time to work.

Do report it. Bring it to the attention of the authorities. Huge crack downs are happening all over the place to stop spamming blogs, and with your watchful eye, you can help, too.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network

Member of the 9Rules Blogging Network

18 Comments

  1. voipendium
    Posted July 11, 2006 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I have a linkback from the -acmeblogspace.c*m- domain (warning: chockful of splogs) on adoption
    when my blog is about technology. Doing some looking around reveals an entire domain of splogs!.

    There are no email or contact info to gripe against unless I try to petition the domain owner.
    The entire domain looks like they run standalone WP and use the system to automatically integrate dummy text into your blog posts.

    Thanks for the warnings, Lorelle.

    Charlie Cacioppo

  2. Posted July 11, 2006 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    “It can take a week or more to get a response ”

    Less than an hour between 0800-midnight UTC. Minutes even.

  3. Posted July 11, 2006 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t identifying WordPress.com as specifically taking that long, but other services as well. I’ve waited three weeks for any kind of response or action from other services. So it was meant as a general statement. I’m thrilled that WordPress.com’s response time is so rocket fast. I wouldn’t expect anything less. ;-)

  4. Posted July 12, 2006 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Seriously wanting and needing someone of your skill and expertise to be on my side, and desiring to do things in an upright and honest way, while also not being too much of a follow the crowd kind of gal, could you step on over to my , uh, blog…and give me a private critique when/if you have time. Yes, I am searching for your approval. But only if earned. Progressgresspregress. And http://ix.view.squarespace.com before it expires. There must be something between the two that I can create here without a great deal of skill. I hope, really hope, that I am not considered a splogger…

  5. Posted July 12, 2006 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Kristine: I’m not sure what you had in mind, but your site expired, which is very odd. Very odd. Anyway, I’m on the road traveling and am not always able to check in here as often as I like. When you get a solid site, and I’m off the road for a bit, then I’ll take a look.

  6. Posted July 15, 2006 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Be careful what you call a splog; if the content is excerpted from your site and complies with US fair use guidelines, there’s no reason you can take it down. Of course, WordPress.com or another hosting service may see your side of things, but if the blog is privately hosted, it’s not doing anything wrong.

  7. Posted July 18, 2006 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Interesting but when reporting splog to blogger, they reply with “Thank you for your note. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. In cases where contact information for the author is listed on the page, we recommend working directly with this person to have this information removed or changed.”

    The Report a Spam Result returns a page cannot be displayed.

    You can submit a splog to http://www.splogreporter.com

  8. Posted July 19, 2006 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Something fun with spam from the CS Monitor–
    “E-mail spam as a masterpiece in the making
    A Romanian artist uses special algorithms to turn the text of unsolicited e-mail into digital images.
    By Stacy A. Teicher | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor ”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0720/p16s01-stct.html?s=hns

  9. Posted December 22, 2006 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I think when the splog is hosted on blogger.com or wordpress.com, i.e. using a subdomain, it would be relatively easier to shut down. The real issue comes when we get people using their own domains.

    Also there is another kind of splog that does not take your content wholesale but just posts an excerpt, but it does the same for multiple blogs… Still, there is no original content… its still junk to the blogosphere, but its legal. These are irritating. :?

  10. Posted April 11, 2007 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    There’s an issue here I wanted to address. Fair Use has many limitations and one of those is the loss of income or potential income by use of ANY content in ANY way. My copyright policy explicitly states that use of my content is not for commercial usage and gain. Thus, any Fair Use used to generate income, not as a reference in a small part of original content, is a copyright violation.

    There have also been legal battles to resolve the issue of what percentage the quoted content represents of the entire content available. What is in total agreement is that the quoted content shall not represent a majority of the content.

    Those who scrap feeds to use excerpts as content claiming Fair Use are in violation of the Fair Use limitations as they are using someone else’s content as theirs. That’s a copyright violation and prosecutable.

  11. Posted October 17, 2007 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    It’s difficult to deal with splog. There’s always the grey area whereby they can exploit to their advantage. In fact the Internet is the greatest virtual grey area on earth, let alone splog.

  12. abrooks
    Posted March 8, 2008 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Splogs are a problem which have become more apparent over just the recent 5 years or so… So many measures are being taken such as the no follow attribute, comment moderation, and spam reporting…

  13. Posted July 29, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Ah now I see! I’ve been splogged! On a WordPress.com blog. I don’t seem to be able to find a way to report it to WordPress without having one of their blogs … Am I missing something?

  14. Posted July 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    @ Debi:

    Thanks. I’ve reported it to WordPress.com, which is different than WordPress, the org. I’ve also removed the link as I don’t want that on my blog. :D

    I also don’t understand what you meant by “I’ve been splogged!” Do you mean that content from your blog ended up on that blog? That is called scraping. “A splog scraped me” would be the correct jargon. Or do you mean you stumbled on the site from search results? Then you just discovered a splog. I haven’t found “splogged” yet in the vernacular, but I’m sure it’s coming. ;-)

  15. Posted August 13, 2008 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    I have recently had my content stolen by a splog. All the content there appears to be stolen. Notifying Blogger simply produces an automated generic response. What alternative action can you recommend?

  16. Posted August 13, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    @ Matt Barnes:

    Follow the tips in What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content. Good luck.

  17. Posted August 30, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I hate that my dashboard incoming links show only splogs at the moment and nothing else. :-(

  18. Posted September 2, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    @ Kathie Thomas:

    Be sure and check them out and if they are scraping your content, tell them to stop and report them. Unless we all work together to fight against splogs abusing our hard work, we all lose. Don’t let them take you down with them. Fight them.


14 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] What’s a splog? Lorelle has a better definition than I could hope to write. In a nutshell, it’s just another pixelated version of junk mail, in that you find it clogging up your news feeds and your internet searches. With splog rage on the rise in the blogosphere, one tool has been catching some attention: The Splog Reporter. The front page claims: This site was created for “good willed” bloggers to report splog in an effort to help to clean up the blogosphere of splog. [...]

  2. [...] In “Reporting Spam Blogs: Splogs”, I describe splogs as: A splog is a “spam blog”, a blog that copies content from other blogs without permission (though there might be a link back), using that content as if it was their own. It’s a little more complex than that, as some mix and match content from many blogs, or mix and match content from different posts into one post. The key to identifying a splog is that the content is not their own, and typically there is no original content to be found. [...]

  3. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  4. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  5. [...] For the most part, it is easy to spot a splog, but much harder to get it shut down. Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs « Lorelle on WordPress [...]

  6. [...] a victim yourself of these sploggers, don’t hesitate to report it to the authorities. Click here to know how. You can also get your own ‘Stop Content Theft’ badges or buttons here. [...]

  7. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  8. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  9. [...] us tell you when we’ve spotted a splog. Force the Blogger bar back onto all Blogger/Blogspot blogs. Put back the “flag this [...]

  10. [...] then, we can report spam blogs (splogs) when we find them. If you want to do more, why not tell the world (and Google) how to clean up splogs on your blog. [...]

  11. [...] can explain that better … here and how to report a splog to wordpress.com, here If you want to report them to Google, here is [...]

  12. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  13. [...] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs [...]

  14. […] Reporting Spam Blogs – Splogs […]

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