I’ve noticed that from time to time normal, rational people comment on my blog posts. Unfortunately, their comments are usually lost in the noise. Where is the noise coming from?
Spam on blog posts is one of the most bizarre human or computer behaviors I have ever seen. And frankly, it makes no sense at all.
When some computer fills up one or two paragraphs with wildly random characters or words, I think it’s a good bet that no intelligent life form is behind the keyboard. If I had a monkey, it could probably do a better job.
And though I appreciate it when some comments praise my work, when they quickly lead to an ad for Viagra I become suspicious that they aren’t actually insinuating that my posts are leaving the readers flat. I suspect they haven’t read a word, and some computer is inserting an ad which the programmer hopes will automatically get posted. I hate to disappoint, but my posts have nothing to do with the pharmacology of impotence, and therefore such obviously slanted ads will get no traction with me.
As a matter of fact, any reader with more than a microwatt brain will notice two things. 1) there are no ads on my site, and I strongly resist any outside efforts to get me to “monetize” my website. I figure if I can’t afford to keep the website up without selling ads, then I’ll shut it down. 2) The name of the blog strongly implies I am a man, and upon reading a few posts you see that I have an attraction to men’s toys. So why do I see a preponderance of spam trying to get me to push handbags and women’s boots?
If I was going to push ads, they would be for man-toys like motorcycles, airplanes, high definition video cameras, arctic survival gear, wingsuits, and diving gear. You know, guy stuff. But the purveyors of those specialty items have the good sense and integrity not to spam me. Fur-lined boots and handbags do not occupy even a cubic nanometer’s worth of space in my brain. So why would I link to spam sites selling those things?
You would think that the fact that I have dumped thousands of spam attempts for completely unnecessary fashion accessories would catch someone’s attention in the respective marketing departments. Their money is being wasted. But that fact is seemingly never appreciated by the spammers.
Also not appreciated is that I never publish anything in Japanese. I have been to Japan, but I can’t read or write kanji or hiragana. In fact, one of the most disorienting experiences of my life occurred in a Japanese bus station where there was not a single character from the Latin alphabet. So why would spammers send me lengthy spam in Japanese writing? Are they completely clueless? Or do they think I’m a renaissance man who acquires languages like some people acquire DVDs? I’ll confess, I’m not that man. I have a hard enough time with American English.
The irony of it is that before long I’ll likely receive one or more spam comments based on this posting. It will probably read something like this:
“You hit the actual fingernail in the head regarding this gleam… This information is so hard to find I will link to your feed and tell my friends who have been searching. Buy Viagra cheap online.”
How about that for a non sequitur!
If you have an interest in the psychology of spammers and spamming, there are a couple of articles, one scientific and one lay press that I can recommend. Another article, classified by Google as being scholarly, reportedly has a bad habit of infecting computers with viruses and other malware. According to the recommendations of my security software, I will not be recommending that site.
Spammer Image Photo by Clint Patterson on Unsplash