Welcome to Spam-alot!

Last week my WordPress Dashboard kindly informed me that Akismet has protected my site from 100 spam comments. Woo Hoo! No matter what the occasion, one hundred always seems like a great milestone that calls for a celebratory punch in the air with shouts of ‘Woo Hoo!’

After my so-called “celebration” I became quite concerned as I thought that 100 spam messages was quite a lot considering that I only had 52 posts to my name at the time. That’s an average of almost 2 spammies per post. And I didn’t even consider those that got away and really did find their way to my Pending Inbox, hoping (stupidly) that I wouldn’t notice.

Monty Python-inspired spam

Speaking of those messages that managed to escape Akismet, I have to confess that even though 99 per cent of the time these comments don’t make any sense, I sometimes approve a few of them because they seem quite encouraging and sincere. And when your self-esteem is a bit lacking like mine, every bit of praise helps, like a booster shot of confidence to help you get through the day. Or in my case a couple of hours.But like I said, these ‘spam-like’ comments really don’t make any sense and I wonder if they are meant for me at all.

On one of my posts I got called a genius for no apparent reason – the commenter gave no explanation as to why he/she thought this and did not allude to the post at all! I kept the comment anyway because I quite like the idea that I might actually be a genius.

There is also another type of comment that leaves me confused. I say ‘type’ because I get quite a few messages with very similar phrases. The responder will state how much they loved the post and that it ‘saved them much time.’
Really? Wow, imagine that. If the reader had not stumbled upon my humble blog, think of all the hours they might have wasted, doing God-knows-what.

Not all responses are this harmless though. A few months back I wrote a poem-it’s probably somewhere there in my archives. I was pissed off at the time, so the poem was actually a rant but I got the following response:

so tell me how you really feel

What is it about a non-punctuated sentence with no Capital letters that’s so creepy?
Thankfully I never got a comment from this spammer again. That’s the good thing about spammers. They get you once and then they leave. They are like bees. Except they don’t die after they sting you but just disappear. Unfortunately, also like bees, when you trash one spam comment, there are millions more in the Internet hive waiting to take its place.
Comments like these I have no trouble sending to the Trash. It’s the non-creepy ones I have a problem with.
On this blog of mine, I try to approve and reply to every single response I get (That off course is standard blog etiquette) and I sometimes feel awful to delete these ‘spam-like’ comments, in the off chance that one of them might actually be a genuine response from an internet-user but non-blogger.

So my blogger homies, how do you react to your spam comments? Do you trash them quickly or do you consider each one? And what is the funniest/strangest/creepiest response you ever got?
And just for kicks, if I receive any spam for this particular post, I will not only approve it but I will leave an equally strange response in return. That should show those spammers…

NM 

I got the idea and drafted this post last week and it seems that the Spam Gods, on foreseeing my actions, have hatched an evil plan to thwart me. Since planning this post, an alarming amount of spam has escaped Akismet. On Thursday I received a whopping 8 messages….all spam. Plus I’ve been getting quite a few very day since then. As of today, Akismet has protected my site from 172 comments. That’s 72 in one week! From 100 spam comments in seven months of blogging to over 70 in one week, may I kindly ask, what the f*ck is going on?

12 thoughts on “Welcome to Spam-alot!

  1. Charlotte says:

    I think Akismet marks things as spam or not based partly on how you deal with them. So if you approve some, then next time similar comments come up (or from the same source), Akismet lets them through. Also, the people who left the previous spam comments may’ve realised you approved them so they came back and left more.

    Sadly the positive comments don’t really mean anything. I gather that people are actually paid to leave really flattering comments on random blogs, hoping that the blogger will approve them. Then the comments go live, and hopefully people click the links and thus generate traffic for sites which usually have nothing to do with the blog topics… Also that way they build back-links to the originating sites which raises their apparent popularity with search engines. The flattery is just a trick to get you to let them through. Sadly, because some of them are indeed quite nice!

    It might work better if they weren’t written in such bad English… a lot of them are largely indecipherable. I’ve also had some written in foreign languages, using alphabets I don’t know.

    • Nisha says:

      Those bastards! He he 😛
      Thanks for that Charlotte, I never knew any of that. I guess I’m just too sensitive and feel bad to delete them. But not anymore!

      I did wonder if they all came from similar sources but because the sites/emails listed were different I assumed the opposite. I realised now that different addresses dont mean anything.
      Thank you, you taught me a lot here. I have indeed, a lot to learn when it comes to blogging. I’m definitely going to be more ruthless with my comment approvals from now on! 🙂

  2. thahir says:

    love the caption. hate spam. I get this e-mail every so often telling me that my e-mail account is being invaded by spam and that I should click on the tab to download a spam filter. So I decide to download this “spam filter” and guess what – I now get more spam than ever. it was the spammers behind the whole thing. clever deceitful buggers.

    • Nisha says:

      There’s nothing worse than a clever enemy. And don’t forget the one from Nigeria about the dying heir who needs to bequeath their millions to some lucky stranger because luck has it he doesn’t have any friends or family despite having had so much to his name. Yep, I hate spam too…

  3. beckyday6 says:

    This is only my 3rd month blogging, and I’ve already got 77 spam! But weirdly, for some reason it’s all spam on the same post, over and over again, I don’t know why this post is so interesting to them but hey-ho.
    I have to admit, I have approved 2 spam comments previously because they were so nice. But I recently decided not to do it anymore on principle. But the same as you, I worry that I’m going to delete some nice bloggers comment that they’ve left me! So I do read all my spam comments carefully before deleting them.
    I’ve never really had a weird spam comment like yours before, but I do always get the same annoying one over and over saying ‘this post may be ranking low on some search engines etc..’
    Very annoying!
    Thanks for the post, found this really interesting!

    • Nisha says:

      Yes I know that comment, I keep getting those too! It’s weird how yours end up on one particular post though. I guess that one must be popular with all the spammers! Lol ;P

      I think its a good idea not approve anymore of these comments, after reading Charlotte’s comment below(or it above?) it might be for the best in fact. Thanks Becky, glad you liked this post!

  4. Widdershins says:

    Hey there … a few things to note about spam and spammers.

    Most spam has really strange looking URL’s that you can see when you check out the comment. They’re usually intelligible because more often than not they’re computer generated using lots of keywords in the text so they have the widest possible reach. There’s very little human imput at all.

    Clicking on any links in the spam can be quite dangerous. It may download a virus/cookie into your hard drive that does all sorts of things, from stripping your user data to installing porn to whatever.

    The link can also leave you wide open to gazillions of spam because your info (that’s generated by the very act of clicking on the link) can be sold on to who knows where – just like tele-marketing lists are sold on from company to company.

    A rule of thumb is, if a comment doesn’t refer to your post, or is too good to be true, or badly written, or you just get a bad feeling about it, then do a ‘delete permanently’ on it.

    The first few spams I got I debated with myself whether to delete or not too. The ‘what-if it’s a real person’ stage didn’t last too long though. Then I got to the angry and indignant stage, like ‘how dare they’!!! … now I give them a quick read through, just to make sure they’re crap, then I delete.

    • Nisha says:

      Thanks for that Widdershins!
      I’ve already taken note of those URLs but sometimes the comments have simple gmail addresses which makes me wonder if they are in fact real comments. The good thing though is that many of these spammers are stupid enough to mention the product they’re trying to sell so it makes it easy to identify them.

      I’m learning a lot about the nature of spam and I’m definitely going to be more ruthless with my comment approvals from now on.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again! 🙂

  5. nelle says:

    Dare I start my comment by saying ‘so how do you really feel?’ 😉 I received that same message several months ago, and yes, it was weird.

    Weirdest comment was actually from someone I knew from work, going back several years, when I was on TypePad. She was ticked I wasn’t associating with her, or actively engaging or whatever, but friendship is a funny thing – you don’t go around demanding it from people, it flourishes or not on its own. And actually I was somewhat skittish, apparently with good reason. Anyway, the message sort of felt controlling and stalkish, delivered to my blog on a Saturday. After I checked the IP in case I needed to ban (TP gives poster IP addresses) it came up as my employer, so she was posting from work, a no no.

    Now this self esteem thing you mention…I hope your blog helps you in this, because you write well.

    • Nisha says:

      The type of people we have to deal with sometimes! Clearly your colleague had some issues. And she wondered why you weren’t associating with her. Go figure!

      Thank you for the compliment Nelle, at least I know that one’s coming from a genuine source! 😀

  6. trixfred30 says:

    My favourites are the random word generated ones

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