Reading Spam: Where are the Normal People

This blog has not yet been in exis­tence for two weeks and I’m writ­ing my sec­ond post about spam.  The phe­nom­e­non of spam is just amaz­ing (like a train wreck) to watch.

Cur­rent­ly, the char­ac­ter of spam that I’m see­ing is of two types.  The first is where the name of the post­ed com­ment is linked to a URL of some nefar­i­ous ori­gin and the body of the com­ment is some words of feint praise that may or may not relate to the arti­cle.  I’m still unde­cid­ed on how much effort is being expend­ed here.  I’m almost of a mind to allow it — but that would only encour­age them.  Real­ly, so the only peo­ple who read my post on Volde­mort sell ques­tion­able body enhance­ments?

The oth­er type is close­ly relat­ed: the name is still linked, but the body also con­tains a link that is obvi­ous­ly sus­pect.  While I can dis­miss some­one as an idiot for click­ing on some­one’s name to get a web page, I feel worse about leav­ing a link in the con­tent — so I have no temp­ta­tion to approve these.

So that leaves us with three options:

  1. Spam­mers are stu­pid.
  2. Spam­mers can’t tell that my site mod­er­ates every com­ment _and_ has var­i­ous spam plu­g­ins (see option 1).
  3. Or the chance that I’ll approve their vile excre­ment is high enough that they keep bang­ing their key­boards (and/or some form of auto­bot).

I don’t think much of option 1.  It seems to me that the spam busi­ness is a pret­ty tough one in which to suc­ceed.  Gone are the days of just wild­ly throw­ing your trash to the wind in hopes that some­one would pick it up.  The spam I see in my email and on my com­ments has some cre­ativ­i­ty to it — so that by what­ev­er means that spam­mer is ampli­fy­ing his effect (num­ber of attempts), he is, on a dai­ly basis, exer­cis­ing a fair amount of cre­ativ­i­ty.

If option 1 is out, option 2 can’t be far behind.  Word­Press is fair­ly com­mon soft­ware and the plu­g­ins I use seem to be rea­son­ably pop­u­lar.  Since spam­mers spend much of their day inter­act­ing with Word­Press, I can’t imag­ine that they haven’t already cat­a­loged and evis­cer­at­ed every line of code sev­er­al times already.

So that leaves us with option 3, which has some unpalat­able side points.  I’ve already had to install an urgent impor­tant patch to Word­Press (from ver­sion 3.0.3 to 3.0.4).  I don’t fol­low the innards of Word­Press, but that type of patch lan­guage always gets my atten­tion.  Are the spam­mers expect­ing to hack the site and see their posts?  Why, then, both­er to post com­ments before a site is hacked?  I hard­ly think that a spam­mer who man­ages to hack a site will be mag­nan­i­mous enough to autho­rize the post­ings of his fel­lows.  There is no hon­or in spam.

I don’t know, then.  Are spam­mers tru­ly just wankers?

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