Blogging Success: You’ve Got Spam!
I was looking over my comments this past Saturday morning. I have been at this for four years now and have amassed some number of them. But then I looked and discovered that my collection of spam comments is growing by leaps and bounds. My first thought: I have reached the blogging big-time!
As a member of the editorial board of an automotive website with a worldwide audience, I am familiar with spam. The spam folder there is bursting at the seams with nonsensical (or worse) posts of all kinds. There are hundreds of legitimate comments a day there and rescuing the occasional handful that get thrown into the digital Lake Of Fire is a chore.
But here I am now with my own personal collection. Fortunately the number of real comments is more manageable so I have not yet had to actually interact with this Spam-fest. OK, it is not a real Spam-fest like the kind I once wrote about. That would be a SPAM-fest. Which actually sounds like kind of a good idea, as I think about it. But it is not the topic for today, so best to clear my mind of pleasant meaty diversions and get back to this less appetizing sort. It occurs to me that the two kinds of spam are amazingly alike after digestion of the food-grade version.
Anyway it appears that my first spam comment came in about three weeks ago. Back in 2017 I featured an early effort by some members of the Count Basie band called Shoe Shine Boy. The piece, which I called Shinin’ Shoes, went into the story behind that 1936 recording and into a brief guided tour through the record. There must be an explosive interest in early Count Basie records because new commenters can’t seem to get enough of it.
Someone calling himself (I was about to go gender neutral on this, but the women of my experience have too much sense to waste time on this kind of thing) InesSkydraf shared a nugget of wisdom that started with “The senses of peep, hearing, and bring into contact with are useful in helping to coordinative bulky and fine motor movement. References References that were utilized in the improvement of the wording are provided at the unoccupied of each chapter. ”
It was fascinating – I want to say that I couldn’t put it down, but I did. Actually the spam-filter put it down for me. In a veterinary kind of way.
New commenter AngarWigutle responded with a missive featuring this opening sentence: “Many of the bloodiest casualties were seen fascination with bones, and he became commit- while he was event the American Army Field ted to the theory of healing, researching, and explor- Health centre in Oxford, Britain. ” OK, it’s a bit of a run-on, but there are no Grammar-Nazis here.
Forty-nine pages of the stuff in just a few short weeks. I, folks, have hit the big time!
At some point I suppose that this situation will just become one more in a long string of pains in my backside that must be dealt with. I can remember being really excited when whiskers began sprouting on my face to the point where a razor was required. I soon came to regret their ever coming on the scene as a lifetime of time consuming multi-bladed drudgery has followed.
I can’t figure out why people actually do this. There is probably money involved. And Russians (judging from some of the typefaces and URLs that show up fairly frequently in my spot-checks.) There must be Big Rubles behind this phenomenon.
Let’s take a break and look at another recent addition: “What was your treatment for dyed in the wool rhinitis and/or post-nasal drip?. Because products without such statements also might be cross-contaminated and the company did not label an eye to it, it’s on all occasions a-one to connection the band to make up one’s mind if the result could contain your boy’s allergen.”
We have all seen those poorly-printed signs on pieces of cardboard hung on utility poles in a typical city. “Work At Home, Big Money”. Or something like that. Is this the gig? “Here, all you have to do is start typing in a stream-of-consciousness style about some topic you know absolutely nothing about.” I could do that. Many weeks, I do it right here.
Let’s see, what about this one: “Care must be taken with an average platypus so that fences are not spent through the care of scout and manicures pharmaceutical industry.” I think I could do this, at least if it pays enough. Dollars, I mean. I don’t know anywhere near me that takes rubles.
It appears, after a bit of research (something foreign to my spam commenters, apparently) that this thing comes from unscrupulous advertising people who create clicks or views or something and that three clicks of out of a million comments makes someone a little more money. Or something.
I suppose I should just stop thinking about the uglier side of human nature and get back to my life. Though one look at modern internet culture makes me wonder how anyone today can dismiss the concept of original sin.
It is interesting that these comments do not seem to contribute to my page-view stats. Or would that be profiting from this nefarious activity? I guess I am content to stay out of the whole thing and let the automated Swiss Guards who man the WordPress front gates do their thing with the ninja-like efficiency they have displayed.
But still, I shall take some solace that I have become a blogging force of some reckoning. Most people out there may have never heard of this little effort, but my worldwide audience is formidable. Kind of.
Pile of Junk Mail Scams from the Flickr page of Judith E. Bell, shared under a CC BY-SA-2.0 license. Reduced in size from original.
This does indeed sound like the backhanded sign of blogging success. Having seen such inane comments at the other site you reference, it also makes a person wonder if the writer (if the source can be called that) gets paid by the word. None of these nonsensical comments are short.
So would a congratulations or an expression of sympathy be more appropriate? 🙂
That’s a good question about the length of the things. They go on and on and on. Fortunately they give me something to go on about. 🙂
I thank God every day for Akismet, which accurately blocks 99.5% of the spam my blog gets without blocking genuine comments. Without it I’d spend 8 hours a day deleting spam.
I have thought about that same thing.
Please sign me up for SPAM Fest. I will bring the Pop-Tarts.
Haha, so what are we drinking – Mountain Dew? 😀
Mountain Dew or Guinness will work just fine!
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Mix them together – Mountain Brew? 🙂
SPAM Pop-Tarts with Mountain Dew sounds like a pretty good breakfast: protein, carbs with sugar, and caffeine with sugar.
As much of a fan of factory-produced food as I am, I don’t think I could handle it. The SPAM Pop-Tarts could work in the way that pancake syrup works with bacon and sausage. Add a layer of maple syrup flavor paste and I could be persuaded. 🙂
I have a similar experience with phone scam calls. Not that they speak nonsense (at least they are intelligible), but they place numerous calls to my residence trying to sell me duct cleaning. They use phone number spoofing (who knew that was a thing) where they mimic a phone number from your locale. They always have a very foreign accent, and claim their name is “John” or “Jason” or “Dexter” or some anglo name. Like every day, sometimes multiple times. I can’t help but wonder why people waste time with this crap. A newspaper article about it recently mentioned that someone actually booked an appointment with these duct cleaning folks, just to see if they would actually show up. Nada. Zero. No show.
My point is, don’t people have better things to do? Here is Canada we get calls (for years now) from someone claiming to be from our federal tax agency, claiming that a warrant is issued for our arrest for tax evasion or something unless we send money now. Some people have been bilked out of thousands of dollars (sometimes in iTunes cards) by these fraudsters. The calls originate from India, but tracking them down has proven to be difficult. Seemingly it is a massive, organized operation.
Like Allan Funt used to say, “People Are Funny”. Or was that Art Linkletter?
Well congratulations Lee, you make the first legit comment to get whacked by the spam filter. At least I think you are legit – is there anything you have not shared? 😀
Yes, that tax scam goes on down here too.
I am still eligible to cross the border, at least last time I tried! LOL
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Spams usually not coming from registered WP-users, in case you choose the option “comments only by registered users” the amount of spams nearly going to zero! Just my experience 🙂
Thanks, I am sure you’re right. I have just been reluctant to make folks register before commenting
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Indeed, fascinating stuff in the content of those spam emails. If you ever doubt your effectiveness as a writer, just compare your work to this nonsense and you’ll come out looking pretty good. Maybe you should try a post like that some week and see if we catch on, because your nonsense is pretty well written too.
It must bring in enough rupees or rubles to make it worthwhile. People get freaked out and play along, I had to come over and take my parent’s computer to the repair guy once because the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has apparently taken it over and demanded $120 to relinquish control. I said, “Dad, if the police want you they come and talk to you, they don’t take over your computer and ask for money”. But he was worried that he was genuinely in trouble. Horrible people who prey on others like this. 😦
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Yes, every advance in tech that is supposed to make life better gets misused by crooks and scammers.
Your post prompted me to check my comments section, where there were 28 spam comments, as I had just blogged yesterday after a months absence from here. So it’s definitely proportional to how much you post, as in my absence there were scarcely any. Many many comments re buying Amoxicillin online, which I was tempted to to cure my lingering cold, but would doubt the purity of. Sometimes I read the spam comments folder just for amusement. Some have enough structure to contain a point, albeit a badly written one, others are just pure nonsense. When I read the book “The Bestseller Code” (predicting bestsellers by AI algorithms) there was an interesting chapter on can you teach a computer/AI to write a book. This was attempted as early as 1964 I recall by throwing a whole bunch of words into a program (for example words which would appear in a love story) and the computer sorting through and trying to make sentences which made sense based on normal speech patterns. So I suspect most of these spam comments are AI generated, or alternatively someone with a poor command of English who needs a job. A few of my readers were getting 100 spam a day and reported it to WordPress and they dealt with it somehow.
Hmm, perhaps a report to WP is in order. The AI angle is interesting.
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