Amazingly, a blogger's rank speculation that a major news organization is using comment spam to lower his site's Google ranks -- he offers nothing in the way of serious evidence, in my opinion -- has led to an article on Wired News. I decline to point to the article, because I'd be giving this thing currency I don't believe it deserves.
The blogger, Nick Lewis, whose work I do respect in many ways, asked list members if they wanted to go on the record. Jimmy Wales, of the Wikipedia project, posted a pungent reply, a portion of which goes:
You might not like me to go on record about this, since I say it's ludicrous. If the media is interested, what I'll say is: tinfoil hats and black helicopters have more credibility, to my mind.As I understood the discussion on the list, the blogger seemed to think that because the IP addresses of the spammers couldn't be traced back to the Big News Organization, that was somehow a big hint that his theory must be true. After all, they'd be clever enough to hide their tracks, right? Wink, nudge...
Trace the ip number to somewhere or someone interesting, and you've got a story. As it is, you've got spammers acting in ways that are incomprehensible.
UPDATE: Seth Finkelstein offers an alternative explanation.