Drupal spam: have we stooped so low ?

Submitted by Frederic Marand on

Coming back from yesterday's first Drupal 8 core code sprint in Paris with lifted spirits from the event, I has a rather disturbing surprise awaiting me on this Drupal (and music) blog: there, on the comment approval queue, stood a single comment on an old blog post for Planet Drupal, authored by someone supposedly called "Johnson" and supposedly writing from "remo2301@gmail.com":

In recent years, Drupal has evolved into an increasingly powerful content management system. From single-user blogs, enterprise intranets, virtual stores to online magazines, Drupal now powers 7.2 millions websites across the globe, including websites for the White House, Whitehall, NASA, Greenpeace and the UK Government. <a href="http://drupal.org" rel="follow">Drupal development</a>

As you can guess, the actual URL has been changed in this quotation, just in case, but I am appalled: the company for which this spam is being sent claims to be a Drupal.org Organization member and Acquia partner, no less. They claim establishments in "North America, UK & India", if one is to believe the website thus promoted. The drupal.org account for that company is indeed bearing an "organisation member", and Acquia confirms them to be an actual partner. A StopForumSpam check on their IP shows interesting results. Do we want to let such practice be left undeterred ?

2012-05-05 UPDATE: Some /other/ indian Drupal development company tried to spam /that/ thread. Wonder whether I should be more amused or wrathful.

Off-page SEO is an extremely difficult space in which to operate and earn a profit. We have Jeffery Robins-types out there selling off-page SEO very cheap and offshoring the work at really low rates. Reputable companies do this to be "competitive" with the Tony Robbins of the Internet. When in Rome... I wouldn't hold it against them too much. Forgiveness is in order. Maybe you should send a note to let them know what is being done in their name?

This is really not surprising, and I'd imagine this isn't an isolated incident.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because the spam comment links to this company's site, that doesn't mean it's the company themselves doing the spamming (or even being aware this is happening). One of the local motorcycling forums I frequent was recently the target of spam from (seemingly) a company which produced motorcycle accessories. I contacted them directly and let them know how I felt about their marketing tactics; they were shocked to see the spam messages. Sure enough, they had recently hired an "SEO" company to help promote their site. This SEO company admitted to using spam tactics, and they lost this client. I would contact the company and ask them what's going on.

Action has indeed been taken offline, so they know who they are, and hopefully should adjust course. As Yuri suggests, this is likely to be an overeager SEO contractor.

I do not consider there is a point in spelling out who allowed this to happen, as long as it does not repeat: don't forget Heinlein's Razor.

As in the FB thread you point to, you visibly confuse - voluntarily or not - the topics: the issue on that post has nothing to do with the spammers being indian, but with their being spammers. You are the only one seeming to care about their indianness.

And Dries has been quite explicit, both on his blog and in speeches, in his appreciation of the amount of talent in India to be found and used by various western Drupal companies. Quoting from http://buytaert.net/drupal-india-opportunity : They [Indian teams] are often responsible for making the CMS platform decisions for all of their clients regardless of country or industry..