Monday, December 21, 2009

Spam comments

A new kind of spam comment has begun to be submitted for moderation. Since the Japanese-language advertisements for Japanese porn and the offers to satisfy your curiosity “to know how one can reach $2000 per day of income” are so obviously bogus, some companies are resorting to flattery: “I would like to thank the author of this article for contributing such a lovely and mind-opening article,” said a comment on a months-old post that I received this morning. Googgling the comment turns it up at the Marketplace of Ideas Blog, the EU Law Blog, the New American Media Blog, the BTD/GTD Blogs, the Marketplace Today Blog, the I’ve Been Mugged blog, and the Christian Science Fiction blog.

The comment originates, apparently, from a term-papers-for-sale mill. What is unclear to me is how the spam works, since it wisely contains no link (which would immediately identify it as spam, after all). I am also amused at the assumption that appealing to his thirst for praise will trick the blogger into posting the spam. Surprising to see how often the trick has succeeded! Does anyone really do business with companies that must resort to such transparent humbugs to advertise their names?

Update: More spam flattery: “It is very interesting for me to read that post. Thanks for it. . . . I definitely want to read a bit more soon.” Sent anonymously. Do such comments serve as a kind of target? Later spam is sent to any blog that posts the flattery?


rjnagle said...

You might enjoy this anthology of spam poetry which I wrote about earlier this year. The editor has links to Houston, Texas btw.

As someone who's been blogging for a while, I have a hard time figuring out what is spam. It dawned on me that a good number of spammy comments are actually from real humans hired in other countries to write comments. (In certain cases, the comments are not wildly offbase and relevant to the post itself. My thought is that if a Philipino has an inkling of a thought about my post -- even if he's writing it for purely mercenary reasons -- there is no reason to censor it.