Spamcommentology, Part IV: Word Salad, Plus Bonus Category: It’s A Conspiracy!

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of Spamcommentology! This week we’ll be looking at Word Salad, with a bonus look at the “It’s a Conspiracy!” category. Now, the Word Salad type of comment is, as you may have guessed, when the spambot just throws a bunch of words into a comment, presumably in the hope of fooling spam filters with heaps of text, as well as to overcome any minimum-length requirements that a site may have. Mostly Word Salad comments are merely gibberish; sometimes they seem to sort of quasi-make sense, until you actually try to parse them; and sometimes they rise almost to the level of some sort of koan, as if an abstract impressionist painting decided to upchuck a poem. Here are a few examples:

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Spamcommentology, Part III: Praise and Insults

Now that we’ve dispensed with the fake advice and fake technical support spam, it’s time to look at another common category: Fake praise and fake insults. The fake praise is designed to get you to approve it even though it’s clearly B.S., and the fake insults are designed to provoke a response even though they, too, are clearly B.S. For example:

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Spamcommentology, Part II: Seeking Fake Technical Support (And Fake Technical Comments In General)

So last week I posted some examples of spam where the spambot was allegedly seeking advice about various things, such as blogging platforms, AOL, and sex toy manufacturers. This week I’m back with a somewhat related category of spam, in which the spambot either claims that there’s something wrong with your site which they beseech you to fix, or else tries to make it sound like they are totally hip to today’s technology and so are you. Unfortunately, it seems like spambots don’t get updated regularly, and so these sorts of comments are often hilariously out of date. To wit:

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Spamcommentology, Part I: Seeking Fake Advice

So one of the regular housekeeping chores involved with running a blog is of course reviewing spam comments. I mean, you don’t have to do it; you can just ignore your spam comments, and let them be fully managed and deleted automatically by your anti-spam plugin. (And you do need an anti-spam plugin. Oh boy do you need an anti-spam plugin.) But if you never review the comments on your spam list, you will miss the (very) occasional real comment that gets caught up in the dragnet, and you don’t really want to leave someone twisting in the wind after they took the time to write a comment, do you?

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This Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month Reminder Brought To You By An Insurance Company That Doesn’t Want To Insure You If You Have An Aneurysm

So September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month, and as it happens, I received this advertisement from AAA life insurance (I added the red box):

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Teaser Tuesday: “The Stone Sky”

So this week I’ve been reading The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin, the final book in “The Broken Earth” trilogy:

The premise of this trilogy is, basically, that the Earth hates humanity and is trying to destroy it via disasters both natural and man-made.

And here you thought I only read fiction.

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The Early Years: Everyone Loves Monkeys. Apparently.

So this week I peeled a few layers off the top of the giant cache of my old elementary school work that my folks discovered and sent out to me a few years ago, in which I found this early, analog example of collecting “Likes”:

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