The Reader is a SPAM loophole

SPAM likes: It’s nothing more than a “Hey, read my cr*p!”, from someone who hasn’t looked at your post, and is indiscriminately clicking ‘Like’ buttons in the ‘Reader’ – or using an auto routine.

Planet Botch

In WordPress we cannot actually stop spammers from ‘liking’ our posts. Even were we to turn off the ‘likes button’ facility in our admin dashboard, the WordPress Reader over rides it thus spammers or spam bots can run down a whole list of posts, clicking the ‘star’ and liking i.e. linking to their sites to their hearts content – and to our great displeasure. Not only does this annoy it also makes our sites look spammy and can have consequences for SEO.

And then there are the ‘likes’ that spammers can add to the comments section:
Encourage your community by giving readers the ability to show appreciation for one another’s comments”.
Thus saith WordPress. That’s all very well, but spammers do the same, leaving their unwelcome footprints, multiple times, all over our visitor’s comments.

So I’ve closed that loophole by turning off ‘comment likes’ in my posts:
Go to Dashboard Tools/Marketing/Sharing Buttons tab (top of page)- you can untick the ‘Comment Likes’ on for all posts and SAVE the Changes!

It’s worth it for those us who take the time to read and give feedback without having our efforts defaced by a spam ‘liker’. Besides, if we genuinely admire/agree with someone’s comment, we can reply to it, even if it’s only with a smiley.

BUT… The litmus test though will be if a comment on one of my posts can still be liked in the Reader (let me know if it can). After all, under the Notifications bell, I can still like a comment!

Consideration: What is the point of giving us dashboard controls if the Reader countermands them? Is it, as this article suggests, that WordPress Loves Spam?

33 thoughts on “The Reader is a SPAM loophole

  1. Not only does this annoy it also makes our sites look spammy and can have consequences for SEO.

    What impact does it have on CEO?

    In terms of the impact that it has upon you, you can turn off notification for ‘likes’ so that you’ll never even know if somebody ‘liked’ your post.


      1. Okay, I read the article; I see the point. I’ve actually written an article about ‘spam’ on my blog, but that was only in reference to spammy comments, not in reference to likes.

        I’m not too bothered by spammy likes because I feel like they don’t much affect me… Although I do agree that WP is clearly making this possible and encouraging it – that seems obvious, and WP’s motivations seems obvious too… But I don’t really pay much attention to the ‘likes’ – I’m always much more interested in the comments; that’s where the interesting interactions are 🙂

  2. I keep saying that I’m going to look for another blogging platform but never seem to get very far in my search. I have been frustrated with WordPress for some time but the altenatives I have looked into don’t seem any better.

  3. I get you. What an annoyance, really.
    For putting ourselves out here like this… will it ever stop?
    I’m tackling my own battle as well. Putting a copyright notice where I think it can NOT be missed. Hoping to deter theft. (It’s ugly but…)
    I’ll see if I can improve security of my site with notes from that link. Thank you, Laura. xo

    1. it seems to be that if we are virtually ‘out there’ we are putting ourselves in the way of theft, plagiarism, hackers, and spammers. You can see the parallels with reality here! And all we want is a nice friendly world 🙂

      1. It’s a sad reality, really. Those people are stuck. Pitifully stuck. I just don’t see how they could have such aspirations.
        Be well, Laura. Blessings.

          1. I worked on the back end of my website last night. Changed some things. REMOVED 60ish followers who gave me bad vibes. That doesn’t solve anything, I know they can always re follow. Anyway I did what I could.
            Thanks you made me feel brave to do all I did. (I’m always scared I’ll break something in the backend. 😞) Be well, Laura. Blessings.

  4. … and like you asked: I just gave you a LIKE on the comment you made to David. Hope that proves what you hope it will prove : that the function of comment liking is disabled.
    I hope so. xo

    1. thanks for trying that out Selma – it is not appearing in the blog post and in the reader there is no avatar link – just a number count so that at least may stop some of the spammers appearing

      1. that’s good because I have removed the option now!
        you will only see the option in the Reader…just the star though…and no link left!

        Thank you for trying it out

  5. Totally with you on every aspect, Laura. We’ve discussed those people who can take away the fun of blogging for us over the years. I, too, recently completely disabled likes on posts because I noticed ten likes with the same woman on the avatars under ten different blog/link names. Have meanwhile re-enabled likes but I really don’t want my readers to click on an avatar that leads them to a spammer site.
    I had long before disabled the likes on comments, luckily, but those spammers will always find new ways of getting around things I’m sure. *sigh*

    1. when likes are disabled, they just don’t show up in a post but likers can still do so from the Reader – all spammers have to do is register with WordPress.
      I never click on a link but use the ‘complete profile’ link in gravatar to check a person out if I want to – I wish more people used this facility more fully (you of course have – all your websites listed!)

      1. I too always use the ‘complete profile’ feature; I’ve noticed very few people actually list their websites there. Pity really, cause that way you might miss out a good blog and they miss out on getting visitors.

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