This one’s for you, spammers
Like Bob last night:
"Thanks for such a great post. (He likes me! He couldn't be evil.) I will definitely be sharing this with my family and friends. (He's passing it along. Yes! Audience growth!) I can't wait to get my artificial Christmas tree out and start decorating it. (Aw. He likes the holidays!) Wishing you all the best this holiday season and I'll be coming back often to read your blog."
What ruined it for Bob: The link he embedded to a site that sells artificial Christmas trees. And the cheesy phrasing on his plug --"can't wait to get my artificial tree out."
Still, I almost feel sorry for folks like Bob -- if that is indeed his name -- because they're at least human who are actually trying, in a clunky copy-and-paste way. And I give him credit for attempting to stay sort of remotely close to the topic of the post.
I imagine him sweltering at his desk in Australia (yes, Bob, I know how to look up your IP address) and hoping his comment will stick so he can collect the $1.25 someone is paying him to post spam. I imagine me ruining his artificial-tree Christmas by depriving him of that $1.25.
None of that stops me from deleting him anyway. Or from blacklisting his IP address. Sorry, Bob. No extra Vegemite for you this year.
Mazhar from Amsterdam was much less elegant, commenting "I love sweets" on a post with a cookie recipe. Methinks Mazhar also likes American spiced pork and ham. Bye bye!
The real humor, though, is in seeing what the spambots churn up. A problem, by the way, that's going to get worse as one of the world's largest spambot servers comes back online.
My most-spammed post is about Benadryl not in liquid or tablet form. Not making sense? Sorry. I was trying to avoid using the actual word so I don't draw in more of them.
OK, think Blaze Starr. That's right: Benadryl St---s. A post about a local pumpkin patch has a similar problem, because I described one visit where the guys became such muddy messes that they had to be str---ed before getting back in the car.
Then there's the coffee video that talks about the daily gr--d. And not in the way the spambots are interpreting it.
Pumpkin-streusel pound cake? Beats me, unless it's the n-ts in the ingredients. I probably shouldn't have used the word "beats," though. That could lead to a whole new round.
It's funny, but it's not. It's a huge waste of my time, and that's one thing I never have enough of. Can't these folks find honest work?
I could cut down on some of it by requiring registration to comment. I tried that briefly, but it wound up deterring folks who actually had something to say.
I could eliminate some more if I could just get someone to let loose of my API key -- for the non-technical, that's like owning the house but not being able to get in all the doors. Taking care of that is on my to-do list.
I could take care of the biggest chunk if I'd put more words on the blocked list instead of "hold for review." I don't because many words the spammers use also could legitimately be used in real comments.
Or in parts of real comments. A high-profile national site struggled to figure out recently why spam filters kept blocking the word "socialism." A close look reveals the word "c-i-a-l-s" within socialism. And the brand name is on virtually everyone's spam list.
And, of course, it's a problem that grows as my real traffic grows and lets to bots find me faster. Today I got first comment in Cyrillic. I have truly arrived.
Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.