Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Explain This

Somebody explain this to me.

For the past week or so, every day I’ve been getting one or two Anonymous spam comments on Straight From Hel. It’s in some weird symbols or code. It makes no sense. It’s not spam advertisements. It’s just spam.

What’s the purpose?

As soon as I find one of the offensive nonsensical comments, I go in and delete. It’s not difficult to do. What’s difficult is figuring out why someone or something posts them. Do they make sense in some odd language? Do other “bots” understand them? What do they say in their odd language or computer code?

I’m probably going to have to go behind the scenes and put those annoying squiggly letters that a legitimate person has to decipher before they can comment on Straight From Hel. I’d rather not do that. But just deleting the spam doesn’t seem to have any effect.

It’s a strange world when people or their auto bots do things just to annoy others. They spam or cyber attack or system crash or manipulate or virus infect or Twitter jam. Who wastes their lives doing such things? And why are others having to waste their time and energy fighting or avoiding them?

Remember the days when spam was a meat product and the most annoying trick you could play was calling someone and asking, Do you have Prince Albert in a can?

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  1. Or applying toilet paper to someone's trees?

    I don't get it either. I've only had one such comment so far. I hate the squiggly letters too, so unless I am besieged with these comments, I'll just endure a stray one now and then...

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. That's what I've been doing, Diane. I'll hold off on the squiggly letters until I get totally exasperated.

    We've never been tp'ed (knock on wood), but it sure looks hard to get out once it gets wet with the morning dew!

    I did one time buy a hundred yard flamingoes and flamingo my sister's yard. Now, come on, that was funny.

  3. I get those too, but not every day. Of course on April Fools day I got it on my group blog about April Fools Day. I delete. Don't know what else we can do. Don't know if blogger has special ways to block that besides those hated squigglers.

    Morgan Mandel

  4. I got a run by spamming on my live journal once from some insane person. Blogger seems to filter through the website spam. Either way, I hate it. My website email is ALL spam!

  5. I hate all spammers and virus makers. Who are these people? Were they not hugged when they were kids? I just don't get the point.

    Once after a virus crashed my computer and I lost everything I made a wanted poster for the guy and put it on my blog .

  6. I hate all spammers and virus makers. Who are these people? Were they not hugged when they were kids? I just don't get the point.

    Once after a virus crashed my computer and I lost everything I made a wanted poster for the guy and put it on my blog .

  7. I got a run of hundreds on typepad last month. Fortunately all but a few were stopped by the spam filters. They were regular letters but total nonsense strings of letters. Made no sense to me, either, unless the purpose was to lock up a certain site. That's a sort of 'prank' that's been done before. Maybe there's a group out to get google and by using the bandwidth for spam they hope to crash their servers or something???

  8. I've never been spammed on my Free Spirit blog, but for some reason my Tie Dyed Tirades blog gets it once and a while. Once a blatant ad for some S&M porn site and a couple times those Asian (looked like Chinese I think?) characters - those i was like what is the point?

    I'm holding off on the squigglies - hate 'em - only will use that if it gets really out of hand.

    Ehm, stupid question for a vet blogger to ask, but I've tried deleting comments before and haven't figured out how to do it (I know, I know, what a ditz I am :( ) - send me a quick heads up at marvwilson2010@gmail.com whenya get a sec?

    Marvin D Wilson

  9. I've been lucky so far as I haven't seen spam on my blog - yet, but have way too much in my email. Wish there was a way to return spam to the spammers times a gazillion!

    Jane Kennedy Sutton

  10. Jenn, Gmail is really good with blocking spam. Luckily, I can access my website email through gmail. That really saves time on culling though the spam mail.

  11. Marvin, that's what I'm getting - the weird symbols that look like they could be a Japanese, but definitely aren't. ]

    And, Jane, they hide so well even a hacker couldn't find them. It's totally frustrating.

    Writtenwyyrd, so far I've only gotten one or two a day. I can't imagine getying hundreds!

    Lauri, so far I've not gotten a virus that crashed the computer. My hard drives seem to do that on their own. That must have really hurt!

  12. I am about to change my e-mail address because of all the daily spam. somedays over 100 sales offers and scams. I even get emails without any subject or sender, just blank spaces. I delete it all unopened unless I recognise the sender or subject for fear of viruses, so I probably lose the ocasional legitimate one. It is like virtual junk mail.

  13. I've never heard of this problem before. I do use the warped words. Sorry. I'd simply rather not deal with spammers.

    Lynnette Labelle

  14. I hate having to delay comments, but a few months ago I had to set my blog so that ALL comments have to be approved before they go up. It's not usually a problem, but in the last two days I've had to delete over 100 stupid comments: Animal Sex, S&M, PhenFen, Levitra... you get the picture. And there are no links within the comments, but they do have trackback URLs. So, I guess they are doing it to increase their SEO rating for Google or something.

    What a pain! I was wishing all sorts of horrible diseases and conditions on them yesterday. "May they have hemorrhoids and dysentery at the same time!"

  15. Um, maybe you're having first contact with an alien life form tapping into your blog from the cosmos?

    Hey, we're writers...at some point someone had to come up with an "out there" explanation. ;)


  16. Helen,
    I get those things on my blog and through my contact form on my Web site. I also get spam comments that are just rows and rows of question marks. The ones that bug me the most because they're the hardest to catch are comments that copy from other comments-or even the post itself! Of course, I recognize the post excerpts and I usually recognize the copied comments if they're left on a recent post. But I get comments on very old posts, many legitimate. When someone copies a previous comment on a post from a year or two ago, I may not immediately realize it. So I have to spend time checking whether or not to approve the comment. I moderate the first comment, then future comments from that person (if they use the same e-mail address) aren't moderated.

    My spam filter has caught almost 113,000 spam comments since I moved my blog last September-more than 600 a day.:-(

    Lillie Ammann
    A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye

  17. Wow. I feel like a crybaby. I've had only one or two spam comments a day. Some of you are having huge problems! Lillie and Tony -- the kind and amount of spam you're getting is outrageous.

    Ethan, consider switching to gmail. It really is great for catching spam. I use it for personal email and now use it for my domain mail. For my domain, it still looks as if the email is coming from my domain account, but it is routed through gmail.

  18. Hope you figure it out. I've not had that happen to me yet...

  19. I don't get spam on my blog (I don't know whether to be happy or sad that I'm so unvisited), but I am getting the squiggly-spam on a guestbook feature of my website that hasn't been in service for nearly a year. I finally managed to get it deleted so that the spammers do their scribbling in a cyber-black hole.

    By the way, Helen, is your refrigerator running? LOL

    Gayle Carline

  20. Ahh Gayle, you made me laugh out loud. I had forgotten that one!

    Gayle & Mary, I wish for you that you continue to be spam-free!

    What does it mean that when I write a post about cyber spam, I don't get any spam that day?

  21. I'm afraid to jinx myself and tell you I don't get any of those comments. I get a few spams on my email each day but it's not too bad.
    As far as the virus things, I'd actually like to hire one of those clever criminals to send a virus to all those pirate sites that are giving my books away. It would be sweet revenge to have one jerk bring down another.

  22. I have noticed that the last few times I popped over to read your blog and wondered what was up with it. Spam is just so rude. :( It makes me sad to think that some people rely on slinging it to make a living.

  23. Susan, I hope you didn't jinx yourself. I had recently made a comment on another blog that I didn't get spam on my blog, then voila I started getting hit. So far today, no spam. We'll see.

    Jenny, I'd like to know the purpose. I don't esp appreciate it when someone spams with nothing but their own site they're trying to sell, but the gibberish spam makes no sense at all.

  24. Hi, Helen!

    That certainly is strange. I guess because my blog is so new, I haven't been initiated yet, but I can't say that I feel too bad about it, though. That's one thing that I'm not looking forward to!

    Helen--did you get my email?


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  26. If your spam is like the message above, it may be written with an alphabet that your computer doesn't have installed (I see these types of symbols when I visit sites written in Japanese kanji.)

    Just last month I had to put comment moderation on my blog because I was getting so much spam. Frustrating.

  27. Okay, after reading your comment, Texas Red, I decided I'd try to figure out if the comment was actually saying anything. Here's what I determined:
    It appears to be written in Chinese. This is how Babel translated it:
    "Welcome to visit the letter to gather the beautiful group World Wide Web. The Sungshan letter gathers the US Ophthalmology department ‧ three people letters to gather The beautiful orthopedic surgery/dermatology department/medicine improves looks ‧ the plank bridge letter to gather US ... The Sungshan letter gathers the beautiful eye. The branch ‧ three people letters gather the beautiful orthopedic surgery/dermatology department/medicine to improve looks ‧ the plank bridge letter to gather the US Ophthalmology department"

    Hmm. I think I'll keep deleting.

  28. @Tony Burton "May they have hemorrhoids and dysentery at the same time!"
    I like the way you think. ;)

    TexasRed may have put his finger on part of the problem It could be a comment done in a language your computer cannot interpret. But it's probably still spam.

    I think the reason behind most spam is simple vandalism. No deeper meaning than that. I have never understood vandalism, cyber or otherwise. Some folks are just twisted.

    I wrote a poem once called email poetry, riffing off the weird **** I was getting. Some of the spam you get in email and comments just defies logic.

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