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(Dumb) barbarians at the gate

Already my tiny site has attracted a small amount of blog spammers, drawn like moths to a flame by the promise of vast internet riches. Unfortunately for them, these spammers are stupid. Worse, the people they’re targeting are also stupid, so much so that I don’t feel even a little guilty about posting their spam messages here. Anyone gullible enough to get taken in by them probably would have been suckered by someone eventually; it might as well have been our spammers.

Spammer number one is advertising for a site called Mike’s Money Site. This spammer is stupid for using a blatant pitch (“How I Make $300 a Day Online”) as his user name, a tactic easily detected by any spam-filter, human or mechanical. At least he’s a keen judge of blogging ability:

Hey, great post, very well written. You should write more about this.

Thanks, Mike! Of course, it’s not Mike at all. Even if the Mike from the titular money site were a real person, he’s not trawling around the internets posting blog comments to advertise, not when he could be making $300 a day online by simply posting links on the google! This comment was posted by a robot, and not a very well programmed one. But in any case, Mike isn’t a person. He’s an online fiction invented to scam stupid people out of money they can ill afford to lose. I was surprised to see on his website that Mike lives in Seattle, but then thought that was a little fishy, hit it with a proxy, and sure enough, it’s just running a geotrace on my IP.

Is this hacker talk turning you on?

Spammer number two is named Gary K Patton. He responded to my Reagan-bashing:

I have been looking looking around for this kind of information. Will you post some more in future? I’ll be grateful if you will.

What a thoughtful but general comment, Gary! It’s too bad that the email address you used is registered to a domain squatter in China.

Look, spammers, this isn’t hard. You must know by now that wordpress is configured by default to require manual approval of only the first comment from a given email address. One actual germane comment, written by a human in response to the content of a post, and you’re in! You can cover an entire blog with your advertisements! If you can’t bother to hire a human to plant these seeds, then outsource it to some artificial artificial intelligence. Any reasonably bright high school student could cobble the necessary work together in a weekend.

And yet, despite a vastly more effective strategy at hand, the spammers act dumb. Why? The answer is depressing: blog authors are just as stupid as the people who think google is paying people $300 a day to post links online. Actually, that’s unkind; whether or not they’re stupid, the overwhelming majority of them aren’t any more likely than me to approve blog comments that are so obviously advertisements. But like all spam, the tiny per-unit cost makes blog comment spam profitable at a truly minuscule response rate. Literally, the one stupidest, most gullible person in a population of 12 million people — that one single cretin! — singlehandedly enables the entire endeavor.

To date, the only cure science has discovered for stupidity is a hot lead pill, and even that one person in 12 million can’t be fooled into taking it very easily.

Posted in Technology.

One Response

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  1. nathan says

    This is great information! Can you post more about spammers in the future?

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