Conversational Spam

Talking to yourselfI and others (including Sig Figs regular Wayne Smallman) have discussed how spammers have started trying to engage webmasters in comment spam conversations with a view to getting their stupid little messages through the spam filters and moderation processes. It’s quite bizarre really, although generally quite transparent. Nevertheless, it’s better than the usual complementary spam dross that simply says “Nice”, “Interesting”, or “Rubbish” and then lists half a dozen Viagra sites or whatever.

However, during the Xmas and New Year break Sig Figs accrued quite a large number of queued spam comments and as I basically left the site on auto pilot during the break, they just sat there, unfiltered but unmoderated. One of the earlier comments was totally unrelated to the post but was quite descriptive and asked all kinds of questions about health, dieting, obesity, and other related stuff. Needless to say it never appeared on the site. But, a subsequent comment popped up later that addressed the sender of that invisible comment by name and answered all those various questions with a whole stack of “useful” links to websites on, herbalife and other related garbage.

Of course, both comments were quickly sent to the spam folder and shredded. But, you have to wonder how many apparent conversations are taking place on blogs and online communities elsewhere on the net that are nothing more than a single spammer chatting away to themselves in a pathetic attempt to get their puerile little links some meager attention. Regardless, it’s something else for bloggers to watch out for when they’re moderating their comments. I’d be interested to hear of any similar “conversations” you’ve spotted on other blogs. Do leave a comment, but please wait till the first one appears on the site before replying to yourself under an alias 😉

Author: David Bradley

Freelance science journalist, author of Deceived Wisdom. Photographer and musician.