Friday, 26 October 2012

“Ηeya i'm for the primary time here” - the weird and wonderful world of spam comments

I was just about to delete all the mail in my junk folder when I realised just how many were from spammers automatically posting pseudo-comments on my blog. Fortunately, Google removes most of them before they actually reach the Comments section at the bottom of each post, so my readers don’t have to wade through them. The vast majority consist of illiterate, non-specific praise for one's efforts:
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One of the many puzzling things about all this - as with most "phishing" emails - is why you'd go to all the trouble of setting up a spamming system without trying to ensure that what you disseminate via that system even vaguely convincing.

Because these “comments” are sent automatically by some piece of software to multiple destinations, they can’t refer in any way to what I or any genuine commenters have written, which leads to masterpieces of non-specifity such as this one:
I'm impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that's both educative and engaging, and let mе tеll уοu, уou've hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm vеry hapρy I found this іn my ѕеагch fоr something сοncerning thiѕ.
Well, thinks you all from the bottoms of my hurt!

Each comment ends with a link to a website offering timeshare flats or loans or software (to be honest, I’ve never clicked on one to check – I’m surmising this from the urls).

Of course, every comment is a lie, because whoever wrote the original message is pretending to have read things they haven’t, and is claiming to be someone they aren’t. But some of the lies seem more outrageous than others. For instance, this comment was accompanied by a payday loan url:
We are a grοup of volunteers and starting a new scheme іn our community.Your site provided us with valuable info to woгk on.You have done an impressive job аnԁ our entire community will bе thаnkful to you.
And this one, from a car dealership site:
Wow! At last I got a webpage from where I be able to actually get useful information regarding my study and knowledge.
Strange that, because I've never done a post about fiddling the mileage on dodgy motors!

Then there are the weird ones that make you wonder exactly what the sender was hoping to achieve – here’s another “loan company”:
When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment.Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!
About 10% are straightforward adverts:
Get unlimited automatic online backup. Now including a no credit card 14 day free trial
Improving your dating skills is easy! Get to know how to start dating again with ease!
(Okay, I’ll just check with the wife.)

Not every “Anonymous” comment is spam, of course. But some of them don’t quite fit the tone of the blog. Here’s one I found attached to a post about Jimmy Savile (the censorship is mine):
May the scumbag xxxx xxxx rot in hell. I hope Satan is abusing him for all iternally the filthy deceiving low life xxxx!!!!
I don’t particularly dissent from that view – but if there’s going to be any swearing done around here, I want to be the one doing it.

One thing that’s been puzzling me about standard email spam is, what happened to all those adverts for Viagra (or do they now consider me simply beyond help)?

I’ll finish with a genuine gripe about email:  when you mark unsolicited mail from perfectly respectable companies as junk, or try to cancel a newsletter you were once interested in – why do some of them bother to find ways to cheat the “junk” filter in order to send you information you evidently don’t want? It’s the height of bad manners, and all they stand to gain is my undying contempt.

1 comment:

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