The Spammers Are Getting Snarky

They’ve tried flattery, they’ve tried clever links … now they’re trying humiliation:

The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I do know it was my option to read, but I really thought youd have something fascinating to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about one thing that you would fix in case you werent too busy in search of attention.

Too bad this comment was posted on an image ATTACHMENT. :-P So there was no whining to comment on. Even if I follow the comment back to the article, it was about the importance of not whining when things go bad and moving on with your life. Tracing back the link revealed that no, there was no real person behind this: there was an apparently fake blog that was actually an invitation to some kind of ad network. Apparently they keyword matched the text of my article with the comment in an attempt to get some attention.

So: nice try, but bad spammer, no backlink.

-the Centaur

In more detail, my methodology: my moderation software asked me about this comment. The comment was not obviously related to an article and was badly written, so I drilled through to the referenced post and found it was an attachment. It’s entirely possible that someone clicked on the parent article, which did reference whining, then clicked on an attachment in an attempt to post an irritated comment. But the person’s email address was for an ad network, the linked-to-blog seemed to have unrelated articles, and on my second visit to the blog the ad network tried to take over my whole screen (yay Google Chrome for saving me!). People don’t generally have email addresses that are the same as spam networks, so I classified the comment as spam. It was a new kind of spam, so I’m posting about it.

UPDATE: Ooo, ooo, I forgot the best part of the methodology: do a search for a long phrase in the spam to see how often it appears on the internet. You can’t do too long – the spammer may be using software that introduces slight word variations – but if it’s long enough to be unique and it still shows up everywhere, you’re virtually guaranteed the comment is spam. I don’t care how repetitive a commenter is, nobody is going to write “The following time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one” on “About 847,000″ pages, according to Google.

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