The Trials of Spam

by The Curious Scribbler

As a blogger it is really exciting to get a reply or  email from a real reader adding to a story, like Tone’s account of how the Welsh Nationalist students  tried to sever the bronze head of the first Vice Chancellor of the University because he was an English king ( albeit briefly)  Edward VIII.  Or Kate’s link to Robert Parnall  of Llanstephan,  one of her ancestors in Carmarthenshire. Or indeed nice comments from people with nothing to sell.

But there is a blight upon bloggers which makes one foam at the mouth.  The parasites, trying to get publicity for their dodgy merchandising sites, too idle or illiterate even to write a relevant sentence as a vehicle to which to attach the website address of their wares.

Some send in a generic comment which appears badly written but superficially flattering:

You made some decent points there. I looked on the net for the problem and discovered most individuals will go along with your site.
You have a terrific blog here! would you like to create some invite posts on my blog?

Or

Nice post. I find out something more difficult on unique blogs everyday. It’s going to often be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice just a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog no matter whether you do not mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web weblog. Thanks for sharing.

These were both in response to the post ‘What is a Lhasa Apso?’ A bit odd, but believable, until you realise the correspondent is actually peddling a link selling American football jerseys!

A regular offender wants you to buy cheap Ugg boots in the USA and Argentina:

This seriously answered my issue, thank you!

I discovered your weblog web-site on google and check some of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the extremely great operation. 

Time and again I consign this author to trash.

Or having read about the Aberystwyth war memorial another ‘reader’ replies

I enjoy these black a pair of glasses. These are generally safe and sound, fancy and superb simultaneously. They provide an extremely contemporary look at and travelling within a comfy daytime it is a good selection. fake oakleys

Possibly the fake branded sunglasses are so black the author can neither read nor write!

And in the complete gibberish category comes this:

Stay above clothes. I would say some sort of added benefits of perhaps may be two-Flip the; You’ll not be be trying late deal for garments to pack it and you could not be posting mafia among solely 1 set of training pants resulting in nil stockings.

Or

You will not even need to take moth golf tennis baseprojectiles of keeping pestilence removed from your material, Several portable content since the event could be gives people like and/or snaps. When you purchase fluids above the protection gate, You should bring regarding on the airplane.

Both of which comments would give links to Louis Vuitton Bags  and Emporio Armani Watch Mall.

Less easy to spot was Phillip, who wrote

Your post, 1807 entry pass for David Lewis | Letter from Aberystwyth, is really well written and insightful. Glad I found your website, warm regards from Phillip!

Who wouldn’t experience a momentary warm glow?  But to approve this comment would furnish my readers with nine links to American social networking, job seeking, brand buying, property selling and joke purveying sites.  Nine of them in all.  Phillip, I will survive without your fake praise!

Why do they keep on sending this nonsense, when it never reaches the readership?  Surely they understand that the author of a blog can approve, or reject any comment?  What the author cannot do is to expurgate their comment and remove the marketing content.  But I can clip out their comments and republish them in my own blog, for the enjoyment of those who would wish to remind themselves how many fools there are in the digital world. And I have found in the dross a valuable expression  –  a single phrase from the multitude which describes exactly what I am doing – “keeping pestilence removed from my material.”

 

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2 thoughts on “The Trials of Spam

  1. How your post made me laugh! I’ve been meaning to write a similar post for ages. My best comment (which nearly caught me out) was someone sending a comment (in perfect English) offering to write a guest blog post. As I’d been requesting guest bloggers, it seemed genuine. I nearly replied but ‘she’ (or he?) spoilt it by a couple of hours later sending me another perfectly written offer to be a guest-blogger – exactly some wording but from a different person. A quick google of some of the phases used in the comment turned up a great number of offers of being a guest-blogger – all using the same wording but all from different people. I have no idea what the motive was behind this as it didn’t appear to be selling anything. I can only assume that they’d intended to strike up a conversation with their victim and then try to sell something or con them.

    I see you’ve restricted comments to only those logged into your blog. I’ve found that leaving my comments unrestricted means I do get a lot of comments from genuine users (because no one has to register or sign-in). However, to stop the spam, I use a WordPress plugin called Akismet – it traps all my spam (apart from the example above!). Andrew told me about it when we were in London and I’ve used to to great success ever since.

    • Hi, thanks so much! I think I’ve changed my settings and activated Akismet as you recommend. Perhaps you’ll let me know if it still makes you log on? I did notice some of the same predators among the commentators on Georgina’s blog!

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