Among the many dark secrets to which I will never have an answer is this: How did a slimy, over-salted canned meat switch its identity and become pornographic electronic junk mail? Inquiring minds want to know. Even more puzzling is that there are people, mainly men and usually bachelors who like Spam. You may take that any way you like.
Every day I get a ton of spam, virtually speaking. I receive dozens, sometimes hundreds, of spammed messages. Most of them are from a Spanish list server (lista de emails … everything from this address is spam) and of these, about 80% of them are some kind of porn. The rest of them are from advertising web sites that may or may not be legitimate. I am inclined to suspect they are all scams. Legitimate companies do not send thousands of illiterate and nonsensical messages to random blogs.
Then, there are those who ask for advice. They use some version of this message as a comment to a randomly selected post.
“These are in fact fantastic ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.“
Huh? What? It gets better. For completely incoherent, this is one of my favorites. I receive several dozen of these every day:
“Fine way of explaining, and fastidious paragraph to take information concerning my presentation focus, which i am going to convey in academy. Watch Elementary Season 1 Episode 5 Online”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Since a few real comments are always mixed with the spam, I can’t delete it en mass without checking to make sure I’m not deleting a genuine comment.
I know that I am by no means alone in getting tons of this garbage. WordPress does a good job finding it and putting into the spam folder. There are a few false negatives and every once in a while, a couple of false positives, but over all, the spam filter is surprisingly accurate and efficient.
My question is this: what do these spammers hope to accomplish by sending me tons of email that is blatantly junk? The messages, even when they are arguably coherent, never have anything to do with the posts with which they are supposed to be associated. Many of them are repeats and clearly generated on a computer programmed by someone whose native language is not English.
There’s the one that warns me my blog doesn’t display properly on the sender’s computer in Internet Explorer (why would I care?). There’s are three or four versions assuring me I am absolutely brilliant, they love my post about (insert post title) and promise they will tell everyone how useful the information is on my web blog (they always call it a web blog). The thing is, while there are many ways you could describe my site, it isn’t filled with useful information. My stuff may be interesting, sometimes thought-provoking, occasionally funny, off-beat and apocryphal, but useful? I don’t consider it useful and I write it.
There are those that request I exchange links with them (over my dead body, pen clutched in my cold fist). And those that would love an invitation to write for my blog (over my rotting corpse), plus those who suggest I come to their site to see huge penises, hot lesbian sex, hot gay sex, hot sexy sex, huge breasts, gigantic butts, and attractive ladies doing disgusting things with inanimate objects. If not, they would like to sell me some Viagra.
Does anyone actually believe this is going to generate business? Make money? If they believe this, why do they believe it? Does anyone ever respond to these “messages”? So many questions, so little time.
If anyone has an answer, let me know. I’m baffled. Meanwhile, feel free to visit the Spam website. You’ll be glad to know that Spam now comes in a wide variety of flavors, including a low sodium version that dodges the question of all that fat but lowers the salt level. The site includes recipes, a Spam Museum (no joke), and an online shop where you can buy Spam gear, such as caps, tee shirts, and other strange and wonderful things. So maybe I do include useful information. I guess it depends on how you feel about spam.
- Blog Spam and the Collateral Damage of Howard Owens (raventools.com)
- Spam, spam, spam, glorious spam… (mrlizard.com)
- How to block recurring spam in WordPress (ghacks.net)
- How Do Spammers Find Your Email Address? (makeuseof.com)