Akismet Blocking Your Blog? No Way, Just a SPAM Trick!

by Klaus on March 1, 2010

in Blogging

I already did one post on SPAM today (read it here: Bloody Sexual Twitter DM’s. Go Away!), so I might as well continue in that track with another SPAM related post for WordPress.

As a blogger, getting SPAM comments is to be expected and it happens every day for most blogs, several times a day also. Sure, you can install an annoying CAPTCHA plugin if you want, but that also makes life harder for your human visitors wanting to comment. I prefer to leave Akismet to take care of my SPAM and that WordPress plugin does a pretty good job at it too: 5,839 spams caught, 2,608 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 98.757%.

Sometimes a SPAM comment does get through the filter (1.2%, apparently), but I still have to approve it before it appears on the site. Today, such a comment made it through and appeared in my mailbox, waiting for approval. Let’s have a look at it, I found it quite interesting as it’s the first one of this kind I’ve recived on TechPatio since launch back in Summer 2009.

Akismet is blocking from techpatio.com any of our grad students who use toyperiod.com as a home page.

Let me explain.

With few exceptions, our business graduate students have been rejected by sites using Akismet.

All it takes is one request from a blogger anywhere for Akismet to ban any home site, whether the blogger is delivering spam or not. (None of our graduate students deliver spam. They are very intelligent commenters who like and enjoy your site, but have stopped visiting here, because Akismet is blocking them on your behalf.)

I am taking the time to write this because I believe your blog to be of high quality, and one from which both you and our graduate students would profit.

If you wish to have our grad students resume visiting your blog, please e-mail me at the College at avoisin@lindachristas.org, and I will place you on our faculty chart as a welcoming blog.

However, Akismet will have to lift the ban on ToysPeriod for you, or you will have to unplug your blog from Akismet.

The person to write to is Alex Shiel at Akismet at support@akismet.com

If you have not blocked ToyPeriod personally, that is even worse. Akismet has been known to universalize blocking.

That is, if one blogger anywhere reports a home page as spam, from then on, ANY person using that website as home page is blocked.

I do hope to hear from you.

If you ever wish to monetize your blog, Akismet will at some time or another have to be disconnected. Otherwise, as with our grad students, visitors will continue to be blocked, even if it is the first time they have ever visited your good site.

Dr. Ann Voisin
Linda Christas College

So what it’s saying is, if you have Akismet running on your blog, to filter SPAM comments, you are also blocking certain visitors. Don’t worry, it’s a SPAM trick.

I guess somebody decided to have their SPAM bot submit this comment on a bunch of blogs, hoping that the bloggers would disable Akismet and suddenly all the real SPAM comments would appear and spammers get the backlinks for viagra and all their other crap.


If you don’t pay attention, the comment above may seem valid, but I wouldn’t worry. I haven’t checked the Akismet source code, but I don’t see why it would ever reject visitors because I’ve marked a comment as SPAM before. Doesn’t make any sense and it would be really stupid by Akismet too.

Spammers are trying to get clever and clever every day – so beware and don’t fall for their cheap tricks!

I’m sure that Dr. Ann Voisin is not the person behind the above comment, but just a victim of the spammers. If it’s a fake name, then great. If it’s not, then at least I hope some search engine users will arrive at this post to learn that she is (most likely) not the person behind the comments.

Comments & Leave a Comment

comments

Deborah March 1, 2010 at 23:01

Klaus, I was so glad to see your post. I have received a similar message from this person today, although it was changed slightly from grad students (in yours) to scholarship recipients (in mine).

There are several people (or at least they claim to be different people) all using the exact same IP, free web mail services, and similar writing styles who have posted benign, yet progressively hateful, comments on one of my blogs. Akismet started blocking the comments because of some of my filter words against hate speech and before I knew it, I started getting messages from these alleged scholarship recipients accusing me of some very nasty things because their comments were getting blocked.

Their IP is exactly the same and writing style is very similar, but I have no way of knowing whether it is one or more people or why they are so obsessed with commenting. Sometimes they have very good and intriguing comments. I let their comments through if the comments are respectful and civil, but delete them out of the spam filter if they are hateful.

I hope others don’t remove Akismet.

I don’t quite understand what they want, but will let their comment through if they are civil and add something to the blog conversation. In the meantime, if Akismet removes them, so be it.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 1, 2010 at 23:16

Hi Deborah. Thank you for stopping by and taking time to comment. I noticed your search phrase on Google resulted in this post being on page one, so it’s good that somebody might find this helpful.

I don’t know if it’s a bot or a low-pay human who’s submitting these comments to our blogs (and maybe the hate comments on yours too, I didn’t look that deep into it. I wonder why you would be receiving the hate comments though.

Well, just so you know, you’re more than welcome to include your blog URL when you comment here on TechPatio, but I understand if you have reasons not to do so. Hope to see you again!

Deborah March 1, 2010 at 23:41

Hi Klaus!

Some of the “nasties” I’ve received are not worth repeating on the Internet. Like you, I have no idea who is behind these posts. It could be someone trying to demean the school’s character, but then again, I’ve read with interest the exchange about this organization at Ripoff Reports. The request to turn off Akismet that I received that is like yours came from a GMail account, so it could be anyone posing on behalf of this school.

I have no idea what to think other than the main thing, which is that it is a bad idea to “unplug” Akismet.

Thanks again!

Klaus @ TechPatio March 2, 2010 at 00:25

I agree, it’s definitely a bad idea to disable Akismet if you allow comments on your blog – unless you always approve each and every one of them, but you would have lots of comments every day to process.

Mac March 1, 2010 at 23:38

Thanks for the heads up on the spam issue. I’m new to blogging and to be honest I don’t really need idiots making life anymore difficult than it is already.

If you’d take a look at my blog and give me some tips I’d be grateful.

Regards,

Mac.
.-= Mac´s last blog ..Module Composition =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 1, 2010 at 23:48

Hi Marcus – always nice to see somebody new posting a comment here on TechPatio, I hope it won’t be your last 🙂

For starters, your “contact me”-page has a flaw. The mail link doesn’t work. You need to add “mailto:” in front of it. But it’s best not to put your e-mail address visible on the internet, spam bots will pick it up easily. Install a contact form instead, there are tons of them as WordPress plugins.

I also suggest you add an “About”-page so people easily can get to know what your site is about. I assume it will be a blog about “your return from the bottom”, so to speak and your attempts to make money online, coached by Dean Holland.

If you would like to involve your readers a bit more and “convince” them to comment, instally the CommentLuv plugin will help you in the right direction. Bloggers love to get their link included their blog post like that. Even if you decide to make your blog “do follow”, like mine – and all the others at http://dofollow.info, you’ll have an extra advantage there (but it also has some downsides).

Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions 🙂 I also sometimes post blogging related articles so if you don’t already subscribe to my RSS feed, you might consider doing so – and/or follow me on Twitter if if you like.

Tycoon Blogger March 2, 2010 at 02:02

I got the same exact comment today. I knew it sounded fishy and luckily I did not fall for it, but I am sure some new bloggers did, unfortunately.
.-= Tycoon Blogger ´s last blog ..10 More easy blog post ideas =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 3, 2010 at 10:35

I’m sure some bloggers will fall for it, that’s the problem with spammy messages like this, they can be real tricky to see through. I’m glad you didn’t fall for it though!
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..February 2010: Blog Summary & Income Report =-.

Walter March 2, 2010 at 02:13

Such message you have stated above is suspicious. I would immediately count it as a spam. I have had similar messages these past few weeks but I did not approve any of them. Whatever is not relevant, I delete it. 🙂

Klaus @ TechPatio March 3, 2010 at 10:37

Good call Walter. If it’s not relevant, it doesn’t have to be there.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..February 2010: Blog Summary & Income Report =-.

Steven Aitchison March 2, 2010 at 07:45

Hi Klaus. Just wanted to thank you for this. I received the same message yesterday and didn’t approve it, instead I carried out some research (When I say research, I put the details in Google) and came up with your post. I suspect you will get a lot of people visiting for the spam comment being sent
.-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..Crossing The Lines In Your Mind – Video =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 3, 2010 at 10:45

Hi Steven. I’m glad to hear that you found this useful and to see you here in the comments! As you can see from my February Report (link below), I sure could use some more search engine traffic, so I hope you’re right 🙂

Your blog looks very interesting by the way, I’ve added it to my RSS reader (and follow you on Twitter).
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..February 2010: Blog Summary & Income Report =-.

Palabuzz March 2, 2010 at 12:38

Toyperiod.com?

I never even heard of that site before until you have mentioned it here.
.-= Palabuzz´s last blog ..Iwa Moto goes topless on FHM March 2010 issue =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 3, 2010 at 10:48

Neither have I. In fact, it doesn’t even exist… (well, it doesn’t work, at least).
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..February 2010: Blog Summary & Income Report =-.

Christie March 3, 2010 at 17:46

I got that comment too! So glad to see this post, because although I left her in the Spam, I wasn’t *quite* sure about it. Now I am! 🙂
.-= Christie´s last blog ..The introvert in high school =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 4, 2010 at 11:39

I can understand why you wasn’t too sure about it- it’s a real tricky message, but I think it’s safe to say now that it is in fact a spam 🙂
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Gmail Tip: Trick Gmail Into Checking Your POP3 Accounts Often =-.

Alex March 4, 2010 at 21:09

Oh, it’s definitely a spam – just another light moment in the ongoing saga of Linda Christas. Commenter Deborah has already pointed out the Ripoff Reports piece on this enterprising organization; I first encountered them during an extended period in which they fought for a Wikipedia presence (those interested can find lots on that here).

I’ve actually had a lot of fun over the past few years trying to figure out what’s really going on here; it’s such a transparent fraud that I can’t imagine they get many “students”…

Deborah March 7, 2010 at 00:01

Hi Alex – I saw that about the Wikipedia issue. They told me in one of the comments that they have 6800 students.

Ching Ya March 7, 2010 at 05:00

I have yet to receive this type of comment yet, good to know! What a sneaky method. I’m amazed with the spammers ‘intelligence’ and innovative. I’ve googled ‘Ann Voisin’, 4 linkedin profiles etc but like you’ve said it could be a fake name. I just feel sorry if there’s really such a person online, the lady needs to deal with a lot of clarification. Pity..

Thanks for sharing this info with us, Klaus. I’ll be watching out.

@wchingya
Social/Blogging Tracker
.-= Ching Ya´s last blog ..16 Facebook Applications to Boost Popularity of Facebook Fan Page =-.

Kasper LM March 23, 2010 at 23:48

Hej Klaus

Tak for det velmenende indlæg. Altid godt at være på forkant med tingene.

Det der commentluv, findes det også til joomla?

Mvh
.-= Kasper LM@søvnløshed´s last blog ..Forside =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 07:51

Hej Kasper – tak for din kommentar. Jeg tror desværre ikke CommentLuv virker til Joomla, men du kan prøve at tjekke på comluv.com.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Google China Redirect Now Also Censured =-.

Gail Gardner March 24, 2010 at 20:56

This is not a SPAM trick. The messages are from Dr. Ann Voisin who is the provost of Linda Christas College. I have been exchanging email messages with her about how Akismet and comment moderation works in most WordPress blogs.

She is seriously concerned about the issue of comments her graduate students leave in WordPress blogs ending up in the SPAM folder. I hope that all bloggers look through that folder regularly and rescue any real comments from among all the SPAM.

There are many false positives in Akismet. It is a very useful plugin that catches 5-7 PAGES of spam (150+ spam comments) in my blog every day. And among those 150+ comments there are usually 3-5 REAL comments that I manually approve.

Remember that our commentators do not always understand that comments do not always appear immediately for many reasons including having your blog set to moderate ALL comments before they appear, comments that are chosen for moderation even in blogs configured to allow comments to immediately appear (does anyone know WHY and what does this?) or because they get sent to the spam folder where we can save them.

I have not confirmed any cases of comments disappearing rather than ending up in the spam or moderation folder.

It does not help that many times when we comment we get a blank page or no acknowledgement. It is best when our blogs indicate that a comment is awaiting moderation. This also is complex because what happens can be affected by more than one plugin and also WordPress itself.
.-= Gail Gardner´s last blog ..KeywordLuv: How Using It Benefits Us All =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 22:36

Hi Gail. I appreciate your comment and I respect your decision to approve the comments from Dr Ann Voisin. However, I disagree that they are legit. There’s probably a real person behind them (after seeing how “she” responds to your comment replies), but looking at the comment left by her at your site, don’t you find it a bit odd why a Dr. from a College would link to a Toys website?! And I find it funny how many of the other blog owners I’ve heard from, also offer “dofollow” links.

I might not consider it complete spam, but I would definitely not call it totally legit either. To me, it smells like somebody taking advantage of bloggers providing “do follow” links.

And finally, she’s completely wrong in the fact that Akismet will block ACCESS to a blog because it has blocked comments from commenters. Plus she says that if I ever want to monetize my blog, I’ll have to disconnect Akismet. I’m speechless 🙂
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Opera Mini 5 for iPhone Submitted to App Store – Don’t Hold Your Breath! =-.

Gail Gardner March 24, 2010 at 23:03

Hello Klaus,

I somehow managed to put the reply to your reply in the wrong place here. Please see it below. I am doing my best to explain to Dr. Ann why WordPress and Akismet are widely used and will continue to be used.

It is true that if a blog were using comments as the only means of communicating with their business clients this would be serious problem; however, that is never true. Any wise business has a phone number and contact form (that they test regularly) on their blog.

Bloggers need to understand that businesses are going to seek out dofollow blogs for the backlinks. While many bloggers today consider those commentators spammers I do not. They are real people who have searched for specific information beyond your simply being dofollow.

Why not welcome them into your blog community and hope they’ll become regular readers and commentators? Please see the post I’ve featured in CommentLuv in this reply for more details on why it is important that we start supporting small and online businesses, good causes and other bloggers.

What we each do can improve the economy and if we continue on the path we are on we will see a situation far worse than the Great Depression.
.-= Gail Gardner´s last blog ..Why Marketing is NOT Evil =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 23:07

Hi Gail.

I already replied to your reply below 🙂 Here’s a direct link though :
http://techpatio.com/2010/blogging/akismet-blocking-blog-spam-trick/comment-page-1#comment-10295

What you say about any wise business has a phone number, I agree – that’s why I wonder why I can’t find a phone number on Linda Christas College website nor on ToysPeriod….

If Dr Ann Voisin just went along with her business as everybody else (with “business” here, I mean commenting on blogs like other commenters do), instead of posting the standard “akismet is blocking…”-message to lots of do follow blogs (apparently including those who doesn’t even use akismet), then I probably wouldn’t mind. But to me, this screams of taking advantage of dofollow blogs in a way lesser acceptable way (in my eyes).

Dr. Ann Voisin March 24, 2010 at 22:12

This is not a trick at all.

We have had to eliminate most WordPress bloggers from our College’s white hat list because of the indiscriminate abuse Akismet and WordLuv deal out to new visitors to sites.

No serious business is going to allow a third party to abuse prospective clients or fans. Only the small business person who doesn’t understand that first and foremost new clients matter would take a chance on a plug ins like these.

Also, WordLuv tells every new person immediately that they are “bad juju” if they dare to put their website name in the website box.

Again, why abuse a newbie to a site? Just bad business?

Dr. Ann

Dr. Ann Voisin March 24, 2010 at 22:36

Dear Klaus,

I wish it were a spam trick. However, what is happening is that our grad students are having to avoid WordPress bloggers.

No serious business is going to take the chance of a plug in giving a prospective client negative messages, and that’s exactly what is happening in the case of both WordLuv and Akismet.

For example, since I have put the ToysPeriod website address in the website box here, I am having to stare at a “bad juju” message throughout the experience. Why would a business person allow that to happen?

Secondly, I am quite confident that when I finish typing this message, it will go directly into your trash, Klaus. Again, why?

Regardless, no new business can afford to give prospective clients or fans ANY negative messages.

It may be convenient to allow a third party to make decisions for a blogger. However, to take the chance of losing an important contact simply because a blogger doesn’t understand the first rule of business, that is, “treat each prospect as gold,” is very sad indeed.

In the meantime, I am asking again that you unblock ToysPeriod.com and let me know. I would like to take your site off the black hat list at the College.

On the other hand, even if you do unblock ToysPeriod, there is no guarantee that Akismet will not block some other contact that could prove beneficial to you.

Sending all messages to moderation and letting the visitor know that would be the way to handle correspondence, again only if an individual is serious about business.

Can you imagine an IBM or a Disney using a third party to “protect” them from new business on their web sites? Of course not.

If a small business wants to grow, the first rule is to treat the public well…..ALWAYS!

Dr. Ann

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 22:45

Hi Ann,

Okay, I’m definitely sure that it’s not an automated spam attempt, since you appear very much like a real person 🙂

But – the only mention of ToysPeriod I’ve seen in my spam queue, is from you. Not from any of your students etc.

What I don’t understand, is why a Dr. at a College needs to post at “do follow blogs” to link to a toys website? Plus the fact that just because comments might go into spam, doesn’t mean your students (or any other) can’t visit and read my site. But, I check all messages in my spam queue and I’ve had nothing else caught besides your messages, so I’m sorry to say, that this whole deal still smell fishy to me.

Gail Gardner March 24, 2010 at 22:57

If you do a search for +”Linda Christas College” +Lego you will see that ToysPeriod sponsors Lego Design Scholarships at that college. If you look at the home page for the college you will see information about the College Doctoral Thesis related to ToysPeriod.

It is not uncommon for colleges to work with businesses or for them to do marketing and/or market research that is then published for others to use.

I agree that comments ending up in the SPAM folder does not prevent them from being approved nor does it keep anyone from accessing your blog.

Every person must learn to look at the big picture instead of focusing only on themselves. What many bloggers define as spam are actually real businesses who understand the importance of proper use of anchor text and inbound links. Please read the post I’ve featured in KeywordLuv to see what I mean.
.-= Gail Gardner´s last blog ..KeywordLuv: How Using It Benefits Us All =-.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 23:05

Hi Gail,

I’ve been searching a bit, and I find it really funny how Dr Ann Voisin almost always only comments on “do follow blogs” with ToysPeriod as her website – and this one is even more funny, she sends the usual “akismet is blocking”-message, but this site doesn’t even use akismet:
http://www.articlesnatch.com/blog/2010/02/21/another-plagiarist-banned/#comment-26556

I still find it fishy and I’m not about to allow ToysPeriod links on my site anytime soon as I feel it’s an attempt to either:

1) Make as many bloggers as possible contact Akismet to whitelist toysperiod.com per default, so they can start to build a lot of incoming links to their toys web shop.

2) Take advantage of “do follow blogs” to get incoming links to their toys web shop.

I’m also surprised at how hard it is to find a real post address for their college. Even if it’s online, are businesses really supposed to be so tough to get in contact with, besides an online contact form?

The same goes for ToysPeriod.com – no address or phone number to be found. Only a contact form. No way I’m sending any money their way when there’s no way to get in touch with them.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 24, 2010 at 23:09
Deborah March 25, 2010 at 01:04

Hi Klaus –

A week or so ago, I got really angry over this. The blog that I have the problem with is a hobby blog that has turned into something that I spend at least 2 hours a day working on, and sometime up to 7 hours a day working on. Combined with my real business, I get very little sleep. Some other issues involving this particular IP’s posts were adding extra work and effort, all requiring time that I just don’t have.

I logged in one night to find a number of messages purporting to be Dr. Ann, plus other people associated with the same IP, accusing me of a variety of things and demanding that I unblock the toy site, which is not even blocked in the first place. These posts were within minutes of each other.

Anyway, I set out a fuming email and told them that if I saw any more of these comments, that I would indeed blacklist them. They have been very nice and polite ever since.

I agree with you … these are DoFollow blogs that are dealing with this issue, and I suspect, high traffic blogs. We put in a lot of effort to get high traffic, usually without the comment writers giving anything back in the form of social bookmarking or anything else. Getting message after message about Akismet, censorship and the rest of it gets irritating, especially when you’re exhausted and giving backlinks as a matter of good will to the Internet community.

I suspect that these are “real people,” but the writing is very similar from person to person.

This exercise has made me seriously think about going back to a no-follow comment tag. In the meantime, things seem to be okay for me.

Thanks for your superb blogging!

Klaus @ TechPatio March 25, 2010 at 14:13

Hi again Deborah!

Last thing first, I don’t think you should go back to “no follow” just because of Linda Christas. No reason not to award your loyal readers with a link back to their site/blog. You could do like me, just remove the links that Dr Ann Voisin posts.

There’s more information about Linda Christas here, that I found through your wikipedia link further up in the comments:
http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com/search/label/Linda%20Christas

It’s an exciting read and it just makes me feel even stronger that Linda Christas and whatever they’re doing, is fishy.

Luckily, this is MY blog so if I don’t want them to post links to their toy website here, I can easily remove them when I want to 🙂

Deborah March 25, 2010 at 15:54

Good Morning, Klaus!

Yes, that Wikipedia article and a few other articles are what made me so suspicious in the first place. I have to admit, though, that since the exchange of emails, they seem legitimate and have been polite and actually quite pleasant to deal with.

This is one of the strangest things I’ve ever encountered with respect to blog commenting.

I will continue to monitor this … and turn to TechPatio for the latest and best info on the subject! I love your blog and appreciate the effort you put into it.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 25, 2010 at 16:53

Hi Deborah,

I’m glad that you have found them pleasant to deal with on e-mail 🙂 But have you found out why they are sooooo interested in commenting on ‘do follow’ blogs and putting a toys web shop as their website in the comments? And why they go around saying untrue things regarding to akismet blocking the blog etc.?

Deborah March 25, 2010 at 20:30

Hi Klaus!

From what I can tell, their toy site is some kind of case study done by the school — but I’m still highly suspicious. The person who is supposedly “Dr. Ann” had posted all kinds of stuff to my site using the same emails as some of the “students.” That, combined with the eerily similar style of writing on practically all the comments written by students and faculty alike, makes me think this is a one or two person operation.

If they are legit, they have done a lot to discredit themselves by sending out the barrage of posts, comments and emails about Akismet. If other blog owners received some of the same kind of complaints from them that I did, then they probably have written them off as some kind of nuts. (Among other things, I was accused of being a Nazi because of the Akismet filter.)

Your posts pointing out some examples where they were complaining about Akismet when (a) their comments went through or (b) Akismet wasn’t even being used were hilarious!

I will continue to watch this. I am on the same page as you on this one…

Alex March 26, 2010 at 06:45

Since this thread appears to have taken on a life of its own and may become a resource for others looking for LindaChristas-iana, here’s what I’ve been able to discover about this minor Internet phenom:

From what I can tell, Linda Christas is more or less one man in Sacramento, Ronald F. Bernard (who, based on searches on things like whitepages.com has or had a wife, Linda C. – could it be for Christas? -Bernard). ToysPeriod is a Lego-reseller, and its site (along with some or all of the LC sites) is registered to Ben Bernard – who I believe is Ron Bernard’s son.

I think the real question – and it’s one I’ve been trying to figure out for a couple of years now (way too much free time, I suppose) is whether it’s all a total scam, or whether it’s just a (deeply eccentric) way for Bernard senior to try and get out to the world his not-terribly-clear ideals about something that, sometimes, he calls “student-first education” (while, as the Rambling Taoist posts make clear, trying to make some money).

I think the scam solution is the likelier, not least because when the LC site first came on line (per archive.org) in 2002, it had nothing to do with education at all, but was actually “Linda Christas Business Services”, offering some kind of recruiting service. Already in place was the distinctive, odd, indirect, and somehow unsettling writing style shared by anyone I’ve ever encountered online promoting whatever it is that Linda Christas is.

For a while, it was also “Linda Christas Quill & Vision”, in which guise it offered to help unpublished authors. I’ve also seen “Linda Christas Academy”, the “Linda Christas College Fund”, and “Linda Christas Educational Services”. Oh, and of course, its very own accrediting body, the “International Association of Schools and Colleges” – whose only accreditee appears to be – you guessed it! – Linda Christas.

It’s hard to imagine that they’re terribly successful in getting people to fork over much cash (the pitch apparently starts with a $400 training course, so you, too, can sell that special Linda Christas magic), but then I remember P.T. Barnum – maybe there really is a sucker born every minute…

Deborah March 26, 2010 at 07:49

Nice synopsis, Alex! Thanks for all the hard work and putting it together. I saw the same thing in WHOIS but did not make the connections, and also did not look at the Way Back Machine. This is interesting.

Great characterization, and my observation, too: “… the distinctive, odd, indirect, and somehow unsettling writing style shared by anyone I’ve ever encountered online promoting whatever it is that Linda Christas is.”

Klaus, I bet when you made this simple little post, you had no idea it would become so popular and sort of a mini-obsession for some of us because it’s so odd!

I did look at Google Maps and there are facilities all over, but I don’t know if those are simply individuals selling “the magic.” The main one in California appears to be in a commercial building, at least from the Google Map view.

Klaus @ TechPatio March 26, 2010 at 17:19

Hi Alex – thanks for that great post, very informative!

Based on your research, it would seem that I was correct in my first assumptions about this whole Dr Ann Voisin / Linda Christas College thing…

Dr. Ann Voisin March 24, 2010 at 22:37

Hi Klaus. Just sent you a message. You will find it in your trash folder.

Dr. Ann

Thomas April 4, 2010 at 12:51

Ik vind akismet niet zo’n hele goede plugin. Wp-SpamFree vangt bij mij ongeveer alle spam. En zo kan je ook woorden invoeren die niet mogen voorkomen, die comments worden dan ook automatisch geblokkeerd.
.-= Thomas´s last blog ..Blog is vanaf nu ‘Dofollow’ =-.

David Kamau June 1, 2010 at 02:14

I’m mad as hell! How can you dismiss Ann’s comment outright and then run to defend Akismet just like that?! I did not use my site’s URL on this comment, though there was a box provided for this. You wanna know why? Because this comment would have been BLOCKED, that’s why. Yes, Akismet does universally block URLs. And yes, contrary to what you seem to believe, they ARE doing what you think is stupid (I think so too, but big companies can get arrogant and stupid). The comment from Ann is valid. I know this first-hand.

Klaus @ TechPatio June 1, 2010 at 02:19

Hi David,

Oh it’s very simple. I crazy about the good work that Akismet is doing for my blog. It has a 99.365% accuracy rate, that’s over 16,000 SPAM comments, an average of 50 spam comments a day – that I would otherwise have had to process manually, if it wasn’t for Akismet. So instead of me having to “remove spam from pending comments”, I’d rather “remove pending comments from spam”. And yes, maybe once in a while a comment does get caught in spam that I don’t see and it will be gone forever, but that’s just as likely (or perhaps, even more likely) to happen with e-mail spam filters.

Other than that, I pretty much consider this matter closed. If you have a blog/website, feel free to speak your mind about you think about Ann and their/the company in a post of your own 🙂

David June 1, 2010 at 20:08

Okay, subject closed. But my comment wasn’t about Ann & Co. (didn’t even know about them before reading this post). It was about the validity of her complaint. But thanks for not shutting my voice (like Akismet would does) or “spamming” me as I believe someone somewhere did thus causing me all these problems with Akismet.

Gaston June 10, 2010 at 20:55

Dear Klaus,

I hope after all this stuff, you understand now that Prof Voisin was alot smarter than you thought she was.

There is nothing at all in the way of a spam trick involved here.

And, the sooner so called experts like yourself get behind the white hats instead of the black hats, the sooner the cess pool that is Akismet will be cleaned up.

Sorry you felt you had to mock people. But, isn’t that what bullies do.

And, make no mistake, Shiel and Mullenweg are bullies with you evidently cheering them on.

takes all kinds.

Klaus @ TechPatio June 10, 2010 at 21:09

Hi Gaston – nice to have yet another person from Linda Christas college commenting on my blog, especially considering you guys claim that Akismet is deleting your comments before we ever see them 🙂

I have no idea why you say that *I* am cheering Shiel and Mullenweg up. I don’t even know what/who Mullenweg is. I assume Shiel is Axel Shiel from Akismet, which I have nothing to do with.

I’m still wondering why students at Linda Christas must comment on do-follow blogs and put down a link to toysperiod….

 

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