Medical Museion posts

The fascinating world of blog spam

By September 22, 2011 No Comments

We all hate blog spam. Spam filters are a blessing — and I’m amazed how efficient they are: I rarely need to weed out the comment folder.

Sometimes, however, my Akismet filter is too efficient, and therefore I use to go through the spam folder once in a while to see if there are any nuggets hidden in the trash. It only takes a few minutes to rapidly browse the spam and I actually rescue a comment (and a potential colleague!) now and then. And it’s also quite interesting to see how the spam content has its own logic over time. A couple of years ago, it was a lot of ads for acai berry juices, last winter it was genital torture that filled the folder, followed by offers for cheap mortage loans. Now it’s back to a classic theme: animal sex.

It’s also fun to see how people try to seduce me into clicking on their damn links. It’s not difficult for me to resist clicking on a comment that wants me to look at images of ball torture with chopsticks. But somtimes I’m tempted by comments which seem to have read the post and write something flattering, like:

Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it’s really informative. I’m going to watch out for Brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

(from a site seelling warfare games; sneaky trick, that reference to Brussels 🙂

or:

Please let me know if you’re looking for a writer for your blog. You have some really good articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Thanks!

(from a company selling new car and truck tires).

The history of spam content is a distorted mirror of the history of commercial culture in the 2000s. I really hope some giant database somewhere gathers a representative sample of spam for future historians.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

More posts by Thomas Söderqvist