Monetizing the egregiousness

Lynn has an idea for dealing with comment spam, and like most such ideas, it springs from frustration:

Comment spam has been really horrendous lately. I used to get, usually, no more than 20 a day. Since last Saturday it’s been 300 – 500 a day! The first time comment moderation is stopping it all but I still have to take the time to delete all of them.

That certainly qualifies as “horrendous.” (I’ve had just over 600 this month. Then again, I have several thousand IPs blocked on general principle.)

Someone once said that spammers should be crucified alongside the highways. Right now that seems like a pretty good idea.

That someone was Eric Scheie of Classical Values, about 11 years ago. The original post has vanished from Blogspot, as posts will sometimes do, but I excerpted the money quote here.

But then I think, why litter the countryside with so much garbage. Let’s just publish their real names and addresses. But then I think, no I have a better idea. Let’s make them pay. Literally. Someone needs to come up with a system to automatically charge spammers by the minute, with the proceeds going to the website owner, minus a small percentage to maintain the system. Five cents for each minute until the spam comment is deleted, even if it is held in the moderation queue for that time. I would be wealthy!

Hmmm. If this ever comes to pass, I’m going to have to unblock several thousand IPs on general principle.

Note: The wp-ban plugin, used here, has turned away approximately 530,000 attempts to dump stuff here before it ever gets to Akismet, which has rejected 36,000 on its own. It is not infallible — no software is — but I’m not getting 300-500 spams a day either.

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I’ll consider myself peered

I don’t know if this was translated from Urdu into Dutch, or what, but it showed up in the spam bucket last night:

I am really impressrd wit your writing tzlents as wekl as
witth thee strudture onn your weblog. Is this a paid subject orr did you mdify
it yiur self? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, itt
is uncommon to peer a niice bog like this one
today..

A niice bog indeed.

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Must be the drugs

This bit of weirdness was submitted to another site I run — strangely, or maybe appropriately, to a post called “Unconscious hilarity”, which was about, you guessed it, comment spam.

I can only affirm three answers, (2, 6, 8) and with serious qualifications on #2 (if it weren’t for my wife and sons I would have no pets).

Christopher Street West, Town of West Hollywood, spouse organizations, supporters and sponsors all contribute to support and celebrate the June 28, 1969 anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in Ny.

An important aspect of buying real estate is feeling at ease with the professional who’s helping you.

The intended link was to a site named for a diet pill; methinks the bots have had too much exposure to drug-addled humanoids.

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Semi-useful household advice

I’m not sure why this was stuck onto a My Little Pony-related post, but what the heck:

Watch for chewing, especially around items such as electric cords. Ferrets are also prone to certain illnesses — and injuries — and may also require emergency services. Don’t make any sudden movements as you don’t want your boa constrictor to bite you as boas are sensitive to humans and can easily feel threatened.

And sometimes they’re hungry.

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The wonderfulness of me

Roberta X used to have a category called “the wonderfulness of me,” and the name was intended, I believe, neither as irony nor as humblebrag: it was simply handy. It’s not a term I’d use myself, though: my own shtick calls for somewhere below Whitmanian celebrations of myself but at least slightly above “wayward guttersnipe.”

From some gutter in a 107 IP comes this attempt to butter me up:

I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours lately, yet I never found any fascinating article like yours. It is beautiful price enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.

I dunno how excellent the content is around here, but there certainly is a lot of it. And there’s a reason for that, for which I turn to Gagdad Bob:

“Only the unexpected fully satisfies. Nothing that satisfies our expectations fulfills our hopes.” This is why I so enjoy this medium of expression. If someone were to offer me money to write a commentary on Don Colacho’s Aphorisms, I would be miserable. Blogging is only fulfilling — and it is, very — because there is absolutely No Plan. Every morning, I can’t wait to wake up and accomplish nothing, only maybe a little more deeply this time!

Says it all, or at least rather a lot of it, as I probably did.

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Dried-up spring

Some minor objections to the text here, from some bogus individual identified as “Lourdes” (!) linking back to some questionable Facebook profile:

The very heart of your writing while apipraeng reasonable at first, did not settle perfectly with me after some time. Somewhere throughout the sentences you actually managed to make me a believer but only for a while. I still have a problem with your leaps in logic and one might do well to help fill in those breaks. In the event that you can accomplish that, I will undoubtedly end up being fascinated.

I’m guessing that “praeng” is the name of the API that produced this boilerplate, because no actual human with any knowledge of the language would spell “appearing” that way.

IP is 159.255.2.137. Feel free to ban it, because nothing useful is ever going to come from there.

Update: The next spammer was kinder:

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious experience concerning unexpected emotions.

Exactly the kind of preserveness I’d like to preserve.

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Clutch this, pal

This item dropped into the spam trap late Friday night:

I’ll immediately clutch your rss as I can’t to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly let me understand so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

No, she doesn’t find my ideas intriguing; the link she gave me goes to some place where you can buy Instagram followers.

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Writerly speaking

All four of these came in within 45 minutes of one another, all bearing the same email address, all linking to a Wikipedia page in Finnish, and each with a different IP address. Still, they make a sort of coherent query, so let’s have a look:

What are some good wordpress themes/plugins that allow you to manipulate design?

If you know what you’re doing, you can manipulate the design just by editing your existing theme. Of course, you can do that if you don’t know what you’re doing, but the results are likely to be suboptimal.

I’m an aspiring writer — of all literary trades (journalism, screen writing, satire, etc) — but I want to start a blog for some adult oriented, romantic fantasy literature. Anyone know how I can start a blog that will allow me to do this? I believe I’ll need a warning page before entrance, and I want it to come up on search engines…

Any old blog platform can do this; setting a splash page — if you’re on Blogger, Google will probably inflict one upon you — is fairly easy.

If I publish my articles to my school paper are they copyrighted or do I have any ownership over them?

I don’t think school-paper stuff counts as “work for hire,” though I hasten to add that I am not any kind of lawyer, copyright or otherwise.

What are good blog posts for a writer who wants to start a blog that even non-readers might want to visit?

If they’re truly “non-readers,” you might consider a photoblog.

There were further items in the series, but by that point it was starting to get repetitive.

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Some weird hybrid appliance

This particular example of comment spam is perhaps a tad less illiterate than average, and each paragraph can stand on its own — but the combination of the two makes no sense:

So no matter how large your laundry load is, rest assured that every article of fabric is going to be getting thoroughly washed. When you have a washer that is this massive, you will likely be able to wash up to three times more laundry in comparison to a top load washer. This system actually helps you save money by conserving your water and use.

It will depend on the screen size and also the whether the device is standard resolution, the kind of backlighting (LED, plasma, or fluorescent), and the size in the TV.

Of course, a top-loading washer has room for a TV screen on the front, but — dear God, what am I thinking?

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A yearn for the terse

I’ve gotten some pretty long-winded spams stuck in the spam trap over the years. Seldom, though, do I see anything like this:

“Hello. And Bye”.

They should all be so short. I mean, think of the disk space it would save.

Addendum: I did finally think of the disk space it would save, and it’s not really that much: the entire system database is only 75 MB, of which 20 MB or so is comments, and actual comments have somehow outnumbered spam comments 4 to 3, so if I’d kept all the spam I’d have a 90-MB database. Considering the fact that the site takes up well over a gigabyte, this should be considered potatoes of insignificant dimension.

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From the Sez You files

Received in the comment-spam trap:

Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us something informative to read?

This might have carried some weight, except for the following minor details:

  • The post referenced in the comment contains no video;
  • The “name” of the alleged sender is “Prolexin Reviews.”

I mention “Prolexin Reviews” here, not because I plan to review Prolexin, which seems to be an extract from the velvet of deer antlers sold as a supplement, but because I’d like to crowd my way into their search results. Spiteful, I am.

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Damned with faint damns

This isn’t as funny as one Lynn got yesterday, which raises the bar for all such word salad, but by the standards of the stuff I’ve been getting lately, it’s not bad:

I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.

The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish.
nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further
formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

This came from somewhere in 23.94.*.*, which entire range is now banned from the premises, since they produce the same sort of crap nearly very often.

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Speaking of ancient themes

Not long after I wrote the previous piece, this landed in the spam trap:

I aЬsolutely lߋve yοuг website.. Pleɑsant cοlors & theme.
Ɗid you make this amazing site yourself?
Please reply back aѕ I’m wanting to create my own personal site and
would love to find out where ƴoս got this from orr exactly what thе tɦeme
is named. Many thanks!

(Must be viewed in UTF-8; other encodings are garbled even worse.)

Weirdly, every other spam from about that hour linked to a YouTube video which purported to sell a car.

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They make it up in volume

Over at Language Log, Mark Liberman finds a piece of comment spam worth quoting:

Ginger ultimately struck North Carolina on September 30 as a chinese culture massive disappointment.

The resulting embryo is afterward transported to tissue may occur, either acutely or chronically, over hundreds of times, sometimes with a little more.

This is right up there with the best ones I’ve received, though this remark of Liberman’s disturbs me:

Among the approximately 15,000 spam comments directed at LL over the past 24 hours, this is one of the few that made it past the filters to be dealt with by human moderation.

Fifteen thousand? In one day? And this estimate may be conservative:

That might be a low estimate — there have been 4,574 comments caught by the spam filter in the past 105 minutes, which would translate to 62,729 per 24 hours.

I don’t know how many of those might have been wrongly trapped, because there are far too many for me to check them manually, as I used to do when there were only a few hundred a day.

Since the fall of 2008, I have had 34,817 comments caught by the spam filter. Total. Admittedly, I draw a lot less traffic than Language Log — whose ancient WordPress theme, incidentally, is also my ancient WordPress theme — but still: 4500 in less than two hours? That’s scary.

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Yeah, like that’s gonna happen

“Make women want you,” said the come-on, so to speak. This showed up as a bogus pingback; WordPress, as it does lately, disclosed that there really was a page with something like that as the title.

I decided to look at it. It’s on Blogspot, there’s only the one post, and it consists of several paragraphs of questionable how-to-get-the-girl advice, interrupted a couple of times by a big DOWNLOAD NOW! box. It is implied that there’s a PDF under that link. There isn’t. Instead, it’s a fairly stock-looking phishing lure.

This thing came to me from 23.94.99.70, but I suspect that copies of it are scattered all over Botsylvania.

Addendum: A few hours later, there came an email spam offering me a “Love Spell.” I suspect such a thing would take more magic than can be packaged in a mere executable.

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Just gimme the Book of Numbers

Someone yesterday dropped a link for what is described as “The Penis Enlargement Bible,” which prompted an immediate “testament” joke that didn’t make it to this post.

I didn’t follow up, of course, so I couldn’t tell you if the information contained therein can heal the sick. (Raising the dead would seem to be above its pay grade.)

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Stall that install

A legitimately interesting question, actually posed by a spammer (probably inadvertently, I think), as retrieved from my Akismet trench:

Now first ask yourself, if you were trying to sell an antivirus program and you wanted people to try out your software, would you make the trial version poorly so it didn’t work very well.

Don’t they do that already?

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Squeaky wheels on the Gravy Train

Right out of the Akismet holding facility, this inexplicable bit of nothing:

Dog arthritis

Somehow I can’t see Fido clamoring for Kibbles ‘n Excedrin ‘n Bits.

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You can have it all, my empire of fish

Another site I run got hit with this lovely piece of Russian spam:

РЫБНАЯ ИМПЕРИЯ – онлайн игра с выводом денег. Запуск системы 31.03.2014.

Для регистрации перейдите по ссылке: http://fish-empire.net/

Наши Приемущества: Открытая статистика – Вы всегда будете в курсе о текущем положении золота в системе. В системе нет никаких запретов для продажи золота.

Идеальное сотрудничество – доступность многократно увеличить свои инвестиции. Мы предлагаем от 30% до 100% в месяц.

Рост резерва системы – за счет влива средств на рекламу и приглашения в проект новых участников – пользователями, участвующих по партнерской програме. Оперативная помощь на приветном форуме. Не забываемая атмосфера и ещё разнообразие разных плюсов.

Об Игре: РЫБНАЯ ИМПЕРИЯ – онлайн игра с выводом денег. Войдите в среду экономической онлайн игры и создайте свою Рыбную Империю, которая стабильно будет давать Вам настоящие деньги.

В данной игре Вам нужно приобретать различных рыб. Каждая рыба производит икру, которую можно обменять на золото. Золото можно выручить за настоящие деньги и вывести из системы на свои электронные кошельки.

Любые рыбы дают разное количество икры, чем они больше стоят, тем икры дают больше. Вы можете преобретать любое их кол-во, у рыб нет срока жизни, они никуда не исчезнут и будут давать Вам икру стабильно. Сбор икры осуществляется без потерь и лимитов по времени.

Начни Игру: Начать играть можно без инвестиций. При регистрации мы дарим Всем Щуку. Ежедневные бонусы, лотерея, конкурсы, акции. Так же существует партнерская програма. Призывайте в проект своих знакомых и родных.

За каждое пополнение счета партнерами, Вы будете получать 30% от суммы их инвестиций. Авто – ввод в проект и вывод денег на Ваш электронный счет. Низкая минималка на Паеер, всего 3 RUB. Ваша Рыбная Империя будет приносить прибыль всегда.

Курс игрового инвентаря: 100 гр. икры = 1 гр. золота. 100 гр. золота = 1 RUB.

Рыбы———–Стоимость——–Доход в день-——Окупаемость
Щука——————–90 RUB——————–1 RUB——————–90 дней
Минтай—————–270 RUB——————3,6 RUB——————–75 дней
Лосось—————–810 RUB——————13,5 RUB——————-60 дней
Осетр——————2430 RUB—————–54 RUB———————45 дней
Белуга—————–7290 RUB—————–243 RUB——————–30 дней

Looks like half online game, half multi-level marketing. (I am relying, of course, on Google Translate, because I don’t know enough Russian to find a toilet.)

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An overnight suspicion

When all else fails, spammers fall back on the tried and true. I caught this suite of spam early this morning, and it would be easily dismissable were it not for its, um, quirky phraseology. For instance:

VigRx With the addition of The Extreme Spear Enhancement.

The secret has absolutely been revealed. Yes VigRx Bonus drive change you in to a coitus god. Thicker, Longer and Harder.

If erotic deportment is a apply to of yours to the limitation that you are perturbed there losing your partner, it may be time to respect something different. There are a two remedies on the trade in that are specifically geared to helping men, but unless you can see sure results, you should close wasting your money. You should also cogitate on the likelihood of side effects, apt to conflicts with other medications.

Deadly serious, yet giggle-inducing. More yet:

VigRx Oil Colossal Longer Eternal Having it away

VigRX Grease Can Devote You An Extra 2 -3 Inch’s On Your Penis. What Are You Waiting Exchange for Wonderful Stud.

VigRx lubricant is an erection fuel that has been developed to boost your nitric oxide levels and guarantee longer erections. It has already proved its efficacy away supercharging know memoirs of millions of people around the world. It is made using heady herbal ingredients that straight percolate through into your penile tissues and offer vigorous results.

Wait a minute. Is it a lubricant or is it a fuel? Or do you end up burning oil and needing a ring job?

Still, nothing compares to this:

Semenax Review How Compelling Is Semenax?

Wild, Fervent And In truth Intellectual Blowing Orgasm That Objective Stay fresh Prevalent! Decent Commemorate With Semenax Your In Jurisdiction!

Semenax has become an overnight suspicion as a dietary and sexual enhancement supplement. Created by means of a league of pharmaceutical professionals, it is the world’s most crap semen enhancement output available.

Before inspirational the man’s testes, it promises to deliver larger loads of semen ergo creating higher sperm chamber counts, increased fertility and fervent orgasms instead of both partners. The success rate has been stupefying, working in compensation men of all ages, childlike and old.

Why, yes, this was an effort to Googlebomb “crap semen enhancement.” Why do you ask?

And “instead of both partners”? Awfully shortsighted, doncha think?

Even more products were offered, but there’s a practical limit to how much of this I’m willing to read.

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