Today is one of those days where I’m pining for the Internet we had back in 1995. When I first found out about the World Wide Web it was a welcoming homey place. A place where you felt safe because it was just people sharing their knowledge.
Back then I never came across people trying to get your bank account numbers, black hat SEO wasn’t a problem, and I got a lot more work done.
These days I spend a lot of time worrying. I notice something funny going on and it requires research just to figure out whether it’s something I really need to be worried about or not.
This morning I received the bill from Hurricane Electric who is one of the hosting companies I use for my clients. I had slightly gone over my bandwidth limit and so there was an extra charge. Since I hadn’t added any big new clients lately (dang!) I became suspicious that maybe my server had been co-opted for some nefarious purpose. So instead of doing any meaningful work, I spent my morning on the phone, and looking at log files. Anyone who has viewed raw log files knows there are more pleasant ways to spend your morning.
Then all morning I started getting comments to moderate for this blog. Rather unusual because normally I’m lucky if I receive 1 comment a month here, so 6 in one morning caught my attention. They were all from different parts of the world, and all with different comments. Ok, that I get, comment spam. Usually done to promote some web site. Only these didn’t list any web site URLs, either in the web site field or in the text.
They all did have some weird misspellings, and were generic comments that had nothing really to do with what I wrote about. So yeah they’re spam, but what’s their motive, their agenda?
The only thing I can think of is that WordPress has a setting where once you approve a comment by someone, further posts from that person can be automatically approved. I don’t use that setting, but the spammer has no way of knowing. So they submit a rather innocuous first post hoping it’ll get approved, sure to be followed up by their real spam later.
The misspellings are random, I think to make it harder to Google a phrase to see if it is a common generated comment.
Doesn’t matter to me. I treat all comments that don’t mention what the post is about as spam. So if you want to spam my comment field, you’re going to at least have to read what I wrote. And you’re going to have to write a comment that relates to the post. I feel that’s only fair.
Now stop wasting my time. I’m trying to earn a living here.