I went ahead and turned comment moderation off when I realized that I hadn’t had to manually trash a spam comment for at least a couple months. Apparently my spam-detection plug-in is pretty savvy! That got me to thinking, though, about whether there were any “false positives” sitting around in the ol’ spam folder. I want people to be able to comment without getting drowned out by robots hawking cheap electronics and get rich quick schemes, but I also don’t want to scare legitimate commenters off by having their thoughts mistakenly land in the bin.
The typical form of spam comment is something like “this website rules! good job dude”, with a hotlink to whatever online business is being promoted cleverly hidden in the username. Yes, there are the odd “u have lady problmz get bigger penis now!!” and “hi do you play world of wracraft gold cheap wow gold??” comments, but they’re not as prolific as you might think. I guess the idea here is that if the actual comment body is just generic praise, the blogger will go ahead and green-light it without looking too hard at where it comes from. Here’s a pretty boring example:
Very interesting entry, I look forward to the next! Thx for share
Imagine hundreds and hundreds of those, piled in a heap of shameless promotion and broken English, stretching out as far as the eye can see.
I have one spammer, though, who isn’t 100% pleased. His first name is Filmy and he is the internet’s very first spam critic. Here’s what he had to say about part ten of Jocelyn Beauregard:
In this great design of things you get a B- just for effort and hard work. Where exactly you misplaced me personally was first in your facts. You know, they say, details make or break the argument.. And that couldn’t be more true here. Having said that, allow me say to you just what did deliver the results. Your article (parts of it) is actually pretty powerful and that is probably why I am making an effort in order to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, despite the fact that I can certainly see a jumps in reason you come up with, I am definitely not certain of exactly how you seem to connect the points which help to make the final result. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your issue but wish in the near future you link the dots better.
B minus!? Really!? I mean, okay, I know my silly anachronistic detective story isn’t exactly grade-A literature, but come on, man! It was NaNoWriMo! I was under some pretty serious time constraints, and kind of flying by the seat of my pants. I’m not really sure what argument ol’ Filmy thought I was trying to make with my piece of creative writing, but he clearly wasn’t persuaded.
The following week, he commented on part eleven:
A large percentage of of whatever you assert happens to be astonishingly legitimate and it makes me ponder the reason why I hadn’t looked at this in this light before. This particular piece truly did turn the light on for me personally as far as this subject goes. But at this time there is just one factor I am not necessarily too comfy with and while I try to reconcile that with the central theme of your point, let me see just what all the rest of your readers have to point out.Very well done.
Well okay, at least he seemed to like that one better. I wish he’d told me which part he wasn’t too comfy with, though; that’s the kind of helpful criticism a budding writer could use to hone his craft. I didn’t remember which scene part eleven was, so I went back and checked, and it was just a short conversation at a restaurant that mopped up a few loose bits from the preceding flashback.
So I guess I have my answer: Filmy doesn’t like flashbacks.
Speaking of flashbacks! We made it to season four of Lost. Unfortunately I had had the Big Damn Plot Twist at the end of season three ruined for me, because it’s pretty much the only thing anyone on the internet was talking about back when it was fresh. Still, it was enjoyable to finally cross that threshhold, and even more enjoyable to see Jack finally find his testicles. They were dangling there the whole time, dude! Don’t be afraid of ’em!