Copied Comment Spam and eBusiness Ethics

Business Ethics & Social Responsibility - Image Credit BusinessMantra.net

Business Ethics & Social Responsibility - Image Credit BusinessMantra.net

One of the most deceptive forms of blog spam is copying previous comments in a thread or text from the blog post or another site and using them to create or automatically generate a new comment.

This type of spammer loves to target dofollow blogs that use plugins like CommentLuv and especially KeywordLuv.

Since many businesses are not aware that they are paying for links using tactics like this one, I am writing this post to point out how this reflects on their businesses as well as the company that is creating spam comments using this method.

I am writing this post for bloggers too – so they know what to watch for and can delete these comments. I hope businesses will see more clearly how someone with very strong ethics perceives what for many seem to be gray areas.  I want to go on the record:

Copying a comment written by someone else and using it as your own is clearly unethical.

Here is an example of one I deleted today:

Copied Comment SPAM

Copied Comment SPAM

Here is the original comment from that post:

Original Comment excerpted by spammer

Original Comment excerpted by spammer

This comment was submitted by a company called ConversionHub based in Singapore. They have an attractive, well-written Web site; however, their actions are a clear indication that their ethics are not in alignment with mine.

I would never knowingly recommend a company that acts in a manner that could damage your businesses reputation.

Comment Author

Comment Author

Here is the information from WordPress with the email address obscured because that information is not made public when we comment in a blog.

They are far from the only SEO company selling businesses on the idea of spamming dofollow blogs.

Business Ethics has become as rare as “common” sense. Some of us must be willing to make it far more clear what is ethical and what is not as few have been exposed to ethics training and have no role models with strong moral ethics.

It is unfortunate that society rewards unethical behavior far more consistently than doing the right thing; however, that does not change what is right or wrong.

Being unethical is now the accepted norm in America and across the globe. Mical Johnson recently warned his Internet Marketing Tips blog readers about Online Scams by Fortune 500 companies – another misleading scam in a long history of hidden charges and fees.

As the effects of greed have impacted more and more people, there has been “an explosion of interest in ethics courses” according to The New York Times article A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality. Here are some excerpts:

“Nearly 20 percent of the graduating class have signed “The M.B.A. Oath,” a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to “serve the greater good.” It promises that Harvard M.B.A.’s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their “own narrow ambitions” at the expense of others.”

“At Columbia Business School, all students must pledge to an honor code: “As a lifelong member of the Columbia Business School community, I adhere to the principles of truth, integrity, and respect. I will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.””

While this may be a good start, the bottom line is we have generations of people who do not have the critical thinking skills to make ethical decisions. Those who do must lead by example, write about it often, and not condone or even tolerate bad behavior.

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do.  The hard part is doing it. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

I am not certain that most people really DO know what is right. How could they when it is so obvious that selfish behavior is consistently rewarded and greed – especially Corporate Greed – is much admired.

Among those who do, I wonder how many – including Schwarzkopf – have the courage to do what they know is right. Those of us who work together can make our own ethics crystal clear and raise the bar for the many.

As we build collaborations of bloggers and collaborate with each other on Social Networks it will become important to ensure that those we recommend and work with share our values and ethics. Developing critical thinking skills is essential for accurately discerning the truth. I have included some of the best resources I’ve collected over the years below for those who value being a thought leader instead of a follower.

ETHICAL EMARKETING:

CRITICAL THINKING:

KNOWN COMMENT COPY SPAMMERS:

  1. SEO Marketing / conversion-hub.com / IP 117.193.169.194
  2. handbag / yeshandbag.com / IP 222.95.61.98
  3. april0414 / www.no1replica.net / IP 123.119.94.201
  4. jayesh / thinkaheadit.co.nz / 116.72.133.125

NOTE: Not all ISPs (Internet Service Providers) use static (permanent) IP addresses. Many still assign them dynamically as Internet users log in. What this means is that banning IPs may block innocent users and may not block spammers. I include them here so they will be indexed but have not verified whether they are static or dynamic so use good judgement when using this list.

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Gail Gardner

Small Businsss Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of GrowMap.com, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.