Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spam, wonderful spam


Like most bloggers, I  have to deal with spam comments. When you start blogging, you check the site frequently, excited, hoping for comments. Sometimes you see an increase in the numbers of comments, and then you open it up with anticipation and - Urgh. A whole bunch of messages from someone named "Anonymous," with either an incomprehensible block of Chinese characters or a bunch of gobbledygook non-sequitors that often include pornographic phrases.

Hit the delete button, now!

I've considered methods to reduce spam, including comment moderation, passwords, and word verification, and, frankly, I don't like them. I'd prefer to make it easy for readers to comment. But I hate the spam, and it's awful to go back into the archives and find tons of spam filling the comments. I've settled on a method that works for me....but that's not what this post is about.

This post is about the content of the spam.

See, my spam-fighting method means that you don't have to see the spam (mostly) until I delete it. And I don't have to see it much - I can delete it globally. But sometimes, I read it, and when I do, I think to myself, WTF? Why do the creators of this stuff think it will work? Why would anyone click on this mess?

Some spam messages are brief and to the point: "Buy cialis" and a link. Others are quite obvious in the attempt to entice. You get a comment that says, "I just found your site and I'm interested in what you have to say. Come visit my website!" There are lots of variations on this, and often they reveal the writer's clumsiness with the English language. Others are, literally, a block of gibberish. Why do they think anyone would click on it?

I got one message that I admire, somewhat, because it had a more creative, almost personal approach:
Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone! Also visit my weblog
It was a stand-out among spam, I have to admit. I still deleted it, of course.

But sometimes, you encounter the spam that descends into almost human dysfunctional madness:

I гarely leave a respοnse, however i did a few searching аnd wound up here ______ Аnd I ԁo haѵe a couρlе of questіons foг you іf you don't mind. Could it be simply me or does it look like some of the comments appear like they are left by brain dead individuals? :-P And, if you are posting at other sites, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of the complete urls of all your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed? my homepage ... same day loans
Okay, let's unpack this! A spammer, saying "I rarely leave a response." And yet you know there are gajillions of these messages out there. Then, a gratuitous insult to the other commenters. Is this supposed to attract clicks? The emoticon - oh, hah, cute. Then commanding me, the blog-author, to make a list? Whoa! This spam robot is a real passive-aggressive jerk!!

 It's interesting that the creators of spam have populated the world with robots that are as varied in personality as we humans can be.

7 comments:

Claudia from Idiot's Kitchen said...

Last night I was just telling my husband that the best thing on my website is the spam filter. I'm surprised that blogger and wordpress haven't incorporated something to help bloggers cut out the spam. I'm on a wordpress.org format for my website and there is a great plug in called "askimet" that blocks out almost all the spam.

As far as spam goes, you've got great reading. ALL of mine is porn. Ugh.

Alicia Price said...

I find that knocking anonymous on the head normally kills spam! I can't remember how you turn it off because my friend did it for me but, I'm sure you can find it on google!

I'm glad you haven't turned on CAPTCHA! I blog a lot and there are so many of the things that I have had to start using CAPTCHA bypass software called rumola (skipinput.com) to read and fill them in for me. It was either that or throwing my laptop out the window!

Alicia Price said...

I find that knocking anonymous on the head normally kills spam! I can't remember how you turn it off because my friend did it for me but, I'm sure you can find it on google!

I'm glad you haven't turned on CAPTCHA! I blog a lot and there are so many of the things that I have had to start using CAPTCHA bypass software called rumola (skipinput.com) to read and fill them in for me. It was either that or throwing my laptop out the window!

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I was going to do a crazy spam post, because I have gotten some doozies lately, including one very salacious one. I also wonder why they think this tactic will work. Does it ever work?

I'm also finding out more about pharmaceuticals than I ever thought I would, googling the products the spammers are pushing.

All that being said, deleting dozens of spam comments can be really cathartic.

claudiagiulia said...

Actually wordpress is fab that way. It confines spam to the spam file all by itself. I never get it. Sometimes I go and check it out and I love the creative and personal approach of what it must be computer generated spam, mostly from India, judging from grammar and composition!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The thing about knocking out "anonymous" is it requires "registered users".

I'd rather allow someone who bothers to type something in at all with a name besides nothing to comment, but that's not an option.

I do have comment moderation on posts older than 21 days. That, at least, keeps them from spamming up your old blogs.
~

smalltownme said...

I put moderation on all comments older than 3 days. So I can zap them before they pollute my archives. Blogger also has a filter that seens to pull out anonymous posts which include web links. A few spams slip by but not too many.