You Might Want To Ban IP Address ( From Your Blogs:

I noticed he'd been spamming our comments by putting up ads for his site. It's fine to link to a post on your site if it's related to something on-topic in your comment; it's even fine if the link is part of your signature; but cluttering our site up with unrelated ads for your site is not fine, and it's usually pretty easy to tell the difference — it surely was here.

A google search reveals that he's also been doing the same on other blogs. I've banned his IP address from our site, and I wanted to alert other bloggers, in case they want to do the same.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Liberal e-mailed me in response:

Sorry, didn't know that was a problem. I don't want to cause any trouble for you, or your site, which I really like I'll stay off of it from now on.
I appreciate the apology; I would have thought that it was pretty obvious that spamming people's comment threads wasn't quite proper, but I'm glad to know at least that the cause for the spam was ignorance of the norms rather than deliberate disregard of the norms.

Marcus1 (mail) (www):
Ironically, now I went and clicked on his blog.
1.20.2006 7:49pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Marcus1: No!!! Now I'll have to ban you. And everyone you link to. And your family. Well, OK, maybe I won't, but, gee, if you're going to undermine my revenge on the evil spammer, would you at least have the decency to keep quiet about it?
1.20.2006 7:59pm
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
My regrets. You should probably remove the direct link to his site, though, if you want the revenge to be more effective. I would never have typed the full domain name.

I didn't particularly want to click on his site, either, but the irony somehow drew me in.
1.20.2006 8:06pm
SimonD (www):
It's fine to link to a post on your site if it's related to something on-topic in your comment
I'm glad you added that qualifier - I very frequently link back to stuff I've written already, and for a moment reading that I started getting worried I was going to have to retype or repost a lot of material every time I wanted to cite it! :p
1.20.2006 8:13pm
Glenn W Bowen (mail):
being "The Hollywood Liberal" is equal to being "The" grain of sand on a beach...
1.20.2006 8:22pm
SomeJarhead (mail):
Please identify the other liberal blogs. I'd like to protect my family and friends.

I am not kidding.
1.20.2006 8:23pm
Michael Hall:
I'm with Marcus - I just had to click on the link. If it's any consolation though, the site is hilariously juvenile (e.g., it depicts the distorted head of Michelle Malkin attached to the body of a body builder saying "But since I am a republican and therefore a hypocrite."). I'm talking third-grade stuff here.
1.20.2006 8:25pm
Michael Hall:
P.S.: Evidently The Hollywood Liberal doesn't know the difference between "we're" and "were."
1.20.2006 8:31pm
Dustin (mail):
Then he should buy my dictionary!

Just kidding.
1.20.2006 9:19pm
Matt22191 (mail):
I clicked through, too. I couldn't resist. I had to see what sort of guy would think comment spam is a cool way to promote his blog. The answer was pretty much as I expected. I'll leave it at that.

He's posted an apology of sorts: "If I've upset anyone by posting comments on their blogs, about my blog, sorry about that. Didn't mean to piss anyone off." "If"?
1.20.2006 11:54pm
Tim Lambert (mail) (www):
Do commenters have an expectation of privacy for their IP address?
1.21.2006 12:11am
Wintermute (www):
Ask about a word verification plugin for the VC. Using that feature on my blog stopped all automated comment spam.

BTW, I asked powerblog if they provide an RSS feed for comments to a particular post. They said no, no one ever wanted it. I know WordPress/MovableType has a feed for all comments. That latter feed would be too much for any sane commenter on a blog with this much traffic, but my suggestion might be a nice feature, if it were implemented.
1.21.2006 12:16am
Eugene Volokh (www):
Tim: I don't know what their expectation is; but to my knowledge I have no legal obligation to fulfill their expectations, and while I have something of a good manners obligation to be nice to my commenters, I don't think it extends to spammers.

Wintermute: Interesting idea, thanks! Will look into it.
1.21.2006 12:40am
Elliot (mail):
Sorry professor - I clicked it too. Wasn't too impressed with the page though.
1.21.2006 2:26am
LeeKane (mail):
Of course, if you put up his URL and accuse of him of a crime... not clicking to the site is like not looking at a car accident--impossible (for me). I clicked.
1.21.2006 2:31am
pettyfog (www):
Imagine, a net newbie, who goes straight to blogging.

Thus doesnt KNOW you dont just bust into a conversation and say
"Hey, LOOK AT ME!"

Oh, wait... Hollywood... Liberal... oh, never mind!
1.21.2006 10:05am
He has probably bought one of those lists of millions of email addresses of "people are just dying to hear from you" too.
1.21.2006 10:53am
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Here's another one that you may want to consider banning for spamming your site.
1.21.2006 11:24am
Kevin L. Connors (mail) (www):
"...which I really like I'll stay off of it from now on."

I wonder if this is just poorly worded, or this person is still confused. I'm sure, Eugene, that you don't begrudge this person remaining a VC reader, and perhaps might even allow them to enter real comments, if he/she have actually learned a lesson. But, the specificity implies that he/she may be inclined to do the same thing elsewhere, so long as they "stay off" VC.
1.21.2006 11:38am
Brian Cook (mail) (www):
Perhaps strangest of all is the fact that he doesn't allow comments on his blog at all. If you make the choice not to have comments on your blog, how can you justify turning around and abusing commenting priveleges on someone else's blog??

And did anyone notice how utterly bad his photoshopping jobs are? Yikes.
1.21.2006 3:16pm
Jay Tea (mail) (www):
He used to have comments. They disappeared shortly after he spammed Wizbang, and I went over there and utterly savaged him.

I had expected as much, and posted them in a comment at Wizbang.

The utter lack of humor was horrible. The incredibly poor photoshopping was atrocious. But what absolutely killed it for me was the utter lack of proper spelling and grammar. If an author can't be bothered to get those details right, why the hell should anyone else care?

1.21.2006 5:39pm
crane (mail):
With some blogs that do this, the owner may not even be directly aware of it. There are people now who get paid to publicize websites - generally by doing things to increase their clients' Google rankings and the like - and some of the less scrupulous ones will spam the comment sections of other websites with ads.

(I realize that the Hollywood Liberal did this himself. I'm just saying, though, some incautious people end up paying for "publicity" like this.)
1.21.2006 7:58pm
Hugh59 (mail) (www):
Marcus1, remember the old Klingon proverb: "Revenge is a dish best served cold." Being a spineless coward, I subscribe to the belief that, "Revenge is a dish best left in the cupboard."

It's fine to link to a post on your site if it's related to something on-topic in your comment

Good to know. I don't know if I have ever posted a link back to my blog here. On a few occasions, I have cut-n-pasted a post from my blog into a comment here (gotta remember to edit those comments carefully; sometimes it can be very obvious one is doing that).

Ok, time to get shaved and dress in green. Reserve duty...what a joy.
1.22.2006 7:58am