If you are one of the people who received a spam like on a comment you left on my site yesterday, I’m sorry. I’ve noticed this happening elsewhere on WordPress but this is the first time I’ve seen it on one of my posts.
After seeing a small flurry of spam likes, you may have noticed that I responded swiftly by inactivating the ability to leave likes against comments on my blog for the time being.
Some spammers (often with obviously dodgy numerical, rude or Russian addresses like the one above) are finding their kicks by going through our posts and liking every comment. Sadly, this doesn’t mean they are really enjoying the conversation, they just take a pleasure in being pesky. They’re hoping you’ll be curious enough when you see the notification that they’ve liked your comment to visit their blog. I’m hoping with all my heart that you won’t. They don’t deserve our attention.
How to disable comment likes on a WordPress.com site
If you experience spam likes too and want to take action, here’s how you can turn comment likes off for your whole site. I’m using a computer, so your screen may be arranged differently if you’re using the app or a phone.
Step 1. Go to ‘My Sites’ (the admin section of your site).
Step 2. Read down to find the ‘Configure’ section:
Step 3. Click on ‘Sharing’.
Step 4. You’ll see a section that starts like this:
Step 5. Click on ‘Sharing Buttons’ to activate the tab to see your options.
Step 6. Find the Options section of the page, which begins like this:
Step 7: Tick ‘Comment Likes’ on or off as required – i.e. if you want to make sure nobody can leave comment likes on your site, leave the tick box blank as shown above.
Step 8: (An important final touch) Click on the ‘Save Changes’ button at the bottom of the Options section to activate your changes.
What this means in practice
You’ll still be able to like the post itself and leave a comment, but as comment likes are no longer activated, you’ll not be able to visit my blog (or any other one where comment likes are disabled) and like any of the comments. After a bit of testing, it seems we can still like each others comments via our notifications if we choose to – comment likes are just private now and won’t appear on the blog. This should prevent a spammer from running down them all on the post itself and ‘liking’ them.
If you think another blogger’s comment was particularly interesting and want to let them know, you’ll still be able to reply to them in a comment. Akismet monitors comments on my site, as on most WordPress sites, and protects us from suspected spammers.
Threads in the help forums tell us that WordPress have been aware of the issue for a while and are trying to find a workaround to deal with the problem. Sadly, the idiots that think leaving spam likes will be beneficial to them have time on their hands and are persistent, so at the moment we are witnessing a kind of war where the good force wins, then the bad force tries something slightly different.
When WordPress comes out on top, I’ll change the setting, so you might notice me experimenting a little over the next few weeks.
I’m sad to have to do this, but happy we have the option if our sites are targeted. The small courtesy of being able to like a comment is one I appreciated, so you can be sure I’ll switch comment likes back on again as soon as it seems safe to do so.
44 Replies to “Spam Comment Likes”
Did you get a numerical follower a couple of days before these? I did.
I have seen an increase in ‘fake’ followers too but if I notice them, I remove them as a follower. I can’t remember if any had numbers or not (I’m not sure there was) but there have been several whose blogs are just made up of the same posts, recycled over and over, which makes them easy to spot.
wow, I noticed the strange likes but didn’t know what they were. Thanks for the explanation
I’m glad it helps.
Thanks for the explanation. I also noticed this yesterday but hadn’t had time to check on it.
It seems better today – fingers crossed it stays that way!
Thank you. I’ve noticed this too in the last week or so. I put it on my list of things to ask WP about, but it’s quite a long way down (sigh), so I appreciate your advice.
Thanks for explaining this mystery, Susan. I had noticed them and have just been deleting them, thinking that they are phishing to hook a visit. More troubling are what look like fake followers with outlook.com addresses. It skews my numbers regrettably.
Did you know we can remove followers in the Stats – Insights tab – WordPress Followers section, by clicking on ‘View All’? It would be nice not to have to.
Thanks, I had forgotten about that. I hope there won’t be too many!
No need for apologies. They need to apologize to us for inundating us with this nonsense.
I have so many Spam likes. I even had a bunch of comments, but fortunately they were caught. It’s so frustrating. Thanks for the info.
Thanks for your kind words. It is frustrating, but good to feel we’re not on our own in dealing with it.
That’s really useful. I’ve had a couple of iffy likes and comments that puzzled me, but not so many that I had become concerned. I’ll keep an eye open now,, and make use of your excellent suggestions if it seems appropriate. Thanks!
It’s good to have a response ready for if it’s needed.
[ Smiles ] It is my humble opinion, that people should only press the “Like” button if they have read a person’s blog post and they enjoyed it.
I want likes from real people and not from bots.
Thanks. I recently turned ‘on’ likes on comments because I noted that a lot of genuine bloggers had activated that option! I had a bunch of spam ‘likes’ a few days ago. Can’t recall what thet related to. I will cancel the ‘like comment’ button if I have further trouble.
There were a lot of people liking every post in the Daily Post’s Community Pool recently too – I hope that didn’t hasten its demise.
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