Since the winter, maybe as early as the fall, I've been receiving comments in old posts that turn out to be junk. Mostly they're anonymous. But sometimes they're from registered LJ users. However, if you go to the user's profile page, you can see they don't really have a journal -- they have no posts and no personal info.
When I first got one, I thought it was a real but indecipherable comment. It was written in a foreign language, one I didn't know. I'm not good at languages, but my guess was Polish. Someone who could read Polish took a look and said it was Polish, but didn't make much sense. I answered it, asking if they had commented there by mistake. Then there was another, and another, from the same anonymous source. The third one had links, links I opened to see if they gave a clue to the sender. They opened to ads for viagra, porn, you name it. That's when it dawned on me that these were junk mail, somehow turning up as comments to posts.
Since then I've been getting more and more, from all over, sometimes in foreign languages, sometimes in English.
I went to the Help Site and saw one could request CAPTCHA's be shown to people who wanted to comment. Those are the little pictures of squiggly letters and numbers you're supposed to decipher to show you are a living person. I asked that CAPTCHA's appear to anonymous commenters. (My apologies to anonymous readers of this LJ who have had to run this gauntlet.) I didn't want to do this, inconveniencing them and possibly making them feel cold-shouldered.
But, now, enough is enough. I am going to set my LJ to show a CAPTCHA to every commenter not friended to Mechtild. So I apologize in advance to you interested, amiable non-friended readers, who simply want to ask about a screencap or a manip, or speak to an entry. But this encroachment by junk mail posters has become a swelling tide.
ETA: I just went to Privacy Settings to add "non-friends" to those who will be shown a CAPTCHA. Unfortunately, you can't choose both "anonymous" and "non-friends", only one or the other. The only option that includes both is "all commenters". That means even friends would have to be shown a CAPTCHA. I'll have to think about going that far.
I can't be the only one to whom this has been happening. Have others of you been getting these junk mail comments? Have you better strategies to deal with them?