A different kind of spammer

The following comment was left on a recent post about the Israel/Lebanon conflict:

Israel has what it takes to lay any and all of her enemies to waste. It’s just a question of escalation and political will.

Israel could end this current conflict by tonight if they wanted to, but they’d face international condemnation for reducing Lebanon- and Hezbollah- to glowing green shards of glass.

It’s a reasonable enough comment, relevant to the topic and intelligently crafted.

Trouble is…it’s spam.

The commenter’s purpose is not to express an opinion about Israel’s capabilities and options, but rather to get you to click on an URL that leads to a ad-centric website about contact lenses.

I’m seeing more and more of this type of spam. Most are not as well-written as this comment, as they seem to be left by non-English speakers who nevertheless manage to pull key words and phrases from the post and weave them into an almost-coherent response. What they all have in common is a link to a generically commercial website with a dot-info TLD (and most of them use a gmail address). This one leads to www.contactslensonline.info, in case you want an example.

My theory is that someone is actually hiring these folks to spam blogs as a way of promoting these websites. Rather than using a computerized ‘bot to generate the comments, which are more easily rejected by captcha routines in the blog software, these human-generated comments have a higher probability of making it onto the blogs, thereby generating either clicks or higher Google rankings for the sites they’re pitching. Perhaps it’s one of those “work from home and make millions” schemes (“I’m now making more than ever!”).

It’s an interesting twist. And I can’t help thinking that in the case of the Israel comment in question, the writer actually has an opinion about the subject and has taken some trouble to create a readable entry. However, the end result is the same: deletion of the comment and addition of the URL to the blacklist.

Spam is spam, and it deserves to die.

Update: I attempted to contact the commenter via the email address “she” left, offering the chance to leave the comment intact if “she” would answer a few questions about who she worked for and what it involved. Unsurprisingly, my email bounced. Bye-bye, comment. Hello, blacklist.

2 comments

  1. It’s annoying isn’t it? I had that with flattery spam – Spam that wrote nice comments about your blog and linked to spam sites. Luckily I lost it all when I changed blogs!

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