The Scourge of Spam: Does This Nonsense Really Work?


“What other nonsense can I send to Rock+Paper+Music?” Spammer pondered.

My little blog here is not a high-traffic site. I wish it were, but given the demand to spread my attentions across a wide swath of creative endeavors in which I’m involved, I have not had the time (nor, unfortunately, the savvy) to pump this bad boy into the virally, chewy sensation I intended.

So I do what I can: I write for it with the same fervor and focus I put into anything I do; I keep it current and contemporary, dress it up to my satisfaction, and it remains a place where I speak my mind and share my thoughts without limitation. It’s my blog. I love Rock+Paper+Music.

It seems Spammers do, too.

I use the capital “S” because this contingent of online personality is simply impossible to put into lower case. They are everywhere, as ubiquitous as the omniscient “God/god,” and evermore diligent about spreading their word with all the passion and fire of snake-charming, tent-dwelling fundamentalists. How do I know? Because I hear from them by the hundreds every single day and their missives have flooded my spam filter by over 460,000.

Yes… you read that right: almost 500K comments from Spammers!!! That’s about 497,455 more than I’ve gotten from actual readers (clearly I’m not as under-the-radar as I thought, she says drily).

Keeping this horde at bay has been left to the ministrations of my hearty spam filters — thank God for them — but still… it’s amazing, the sheer number and variety of issues submitted and disguised as faux comments or requests. I’m in awe of the creativity. There is clearly a script that various groups use, one that gets altered just enough with each missive to suggest real communication, and, of course, these always contain links and trackbacks (interesting, isn’t it, how many random readers have those? :).

I’ve been told by, oh, so many “readers” how they just “stumbled upon my blog” and are so impressed by my skill and talent they had to write. Or how “my cousin told me I had to visit your site and boy, am I glad I did!” (Me too!). There are some that just leave trackbacks, others that leave LOOOOONG lists of links to pharmaceutical drugs or designer sites or sex services (do they really think I’m going to let those get by?). There are even some who clumsily offer critique and still think their posts will pass muster, things like: “You’re not the best writer on the web and your images upload slow”…neither of which I hope is true!

The scourge of spam is like locust, cockroaches, and posts about the Kardashians: never-ending, pointless, and seemingly unstoppable. According to one survey, at least 12% of those who receive spam either through email, comments, Facebook posts; whatever, actually do respond to them, and often to their own detriment. Earlier this year TechDirt reported the story of a woman on who was looking for love in what one would assume was certainly a right place but being taken, instead, by some Turkish scammer for $500,000 of her hard-earned cash. Frightfully unChristian and clearly a trump of my 500K spam comments, but as long as those “profits” keep coming in, in whatever percentages, they’ll keep on spamming.

There seems to be consensus (see related articles below) that this scourge is one we will have to endure like disease and earthquakes, but, as with both of those burdensome realities, we are wise to do all we can to protect ourselves in response. Which I do. In fact, I bow down to my spam filters both here at Rock+Paper+Music and at my email address, impressed by their relentless ability to ferret crap from commentary. Long may they filter.

But still… I gotta say I’m just a little wistful that my biggest audience here is those wily, unscrupulous, indefatigable Spammers who just “stumbled upon” my blog and want me to know they think I’m really, really awesome. All I can say to that is: gosh, thanks, you guys! 🙂

Related Articles:

The Spam Battle Report 2014

Why The Spammers Are Winning

Stupid users respond to spam? Survey said… (ding) 12% do!

The reasons why you should never respond to spam email

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