I have to admit that I frequently read the spam comments WordPress traps for my moderation, and I often do so with a smile. The clumsy, crazy constructs, the awkward English, butchered punctuation and the twisted word use just make me laugh.
Yes, like everyone else, I detest spam, and I quickly delete the comments into whatever digital wastebin they descend to. But I often chuckle to read them first. They make me wonder: are they deliberately written poorly, are they the sincere efforts of someone struggling to learn English, words strung together in random order by a bot, or are they the result of some Google translation gone awry?
Some have question marks which suggest symbols from other languages that didn’t get through the translation process. or are they just machine constructs dropping in characters at random?
This one is a good example, taken from today’s lot waiting for the delete button:
Of training course exceptional post. We have heading up for your net. Usually publish with your very own encounter and share. Oh! really grateful.
Some read like odd poetry, if you parse them so. Take the above, for example and write it thus:
Of training course exceptional post.
We have heading up for your net.
Usually publish with
your very own encounter
Okay, not great poetry. Reads like computer-generated poetry, though, doesn’t it?
There are so many spam comments – I usually get ten or more a day. Most of their IPs trace to China, or Brazil, but I’m tracing them to Canada, too.
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“An big assortment?” At least it was a fantastic operate.
The reason I moderate all comments here is the spam volume. Even with basic filters in place, some was getting through until I made all comments wait for approval.
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Most of these comments are merely filler: the real spam lies in the links to other sites: sometimes scammer sites, sometimes malware sites. And almost every one is completely unrelated to the blog entry under which it was posted.
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A similar problem was plaguing my Blue Agave forum, which forced me to temporarily shut down local registrations because either the spammers had figured out how to write bots to get past the forum registrations, or they were using real people to sign in then using bots to post. I suspect the latter. registration is still available via Twitter or Facebook, however.
Most forum spam is advertising (links to scam sites), just like the email spam we all get. And much of it is a trap to get people to visit malicious sites. I get 20-25 junk emails of this sort a day, the vast majority from China. Norton is pretty good at catching them, but an increasing number get through the AV wall.
Other forums I belong to go through similar problems. The WordPress support forums have many threads about spam.
Here on the blog I just hold all comments so I can check the IPs, the content and make sure it’s from a real person, not a spammer (who may be a real person, not a bot, but in the cladogram of life, would be somewhere between the levels of bacteria and fungi…)
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The spam comments are always so grateful and polite, it’s almost a shame to have to erase them. If only all real comments were so civil…
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Some, however, are mere gibberish: words strung together with no sense or context. This one, for example:
Nice, quick piece that carries it is personal temper close to with it. Which is good. Dropping Chandler like that and not following up? Not so excellent. Tends to make men and women think about artwork and the actual existence reflected there
It was attached to a post that referenced neither a “Chandler” nor artwork. That sets off all the spambot warning alarms. Well, having almost anything I write called a “nice, quick piece…” should warn me.
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Most spammers use keywords in their username that give the game away: bottes le chameau st hubert prestige, Louis Vuitton Outlet Online, bottes mexicana femme, bottes hommes pas cher. Curiously a lot of French names in this week’s crop of spammers, but none in the comments. That fits because the IP of most of the spammers this week (and frequent in previous weeks) is 18.104.22.168, which is registered to OVH Hosting, Inc. in Montreal. Described online by some as a “spam sewer.”
I’ve emailed the company with a complaint. Which I suspect will be merely urinae contra ventum, as these posts suggest.
I found a whole lot of insightful things in your report. Preserve it up.
Preserve it up, I shall.
It would be merely humorous if these spammers weren’t running scams to steal your money, your ID, your passwords and usernames, your personal information. In fact, they are criminals, often part of organized crime rings, and this is big business for them.
So this morning, after I cleaned up the week’s spam, I also deleted a number of suspicious subscribers whose email or usernames made me think they were not real folks. If I accidentally deleted you, a real subscriber, I apologize. Please re-register and I’ll be more diligent about not erasing you in future.