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The Bots Cometh

by Noah Lugeons

WordPress has a pretty solid spam filter for comments. They pretty much catch all the mass commenting and tuck it away in a spam folder that I never have to look at if I don’t want to.

So the spammers had to get a little more clever. See, if I want, I can go into the spam folder and check out these comments to see if they are, indeed, spam. Knowing this, the bots are programmed to have these really generic messages that might fool somebody into saying “hey, what’s this doing in with the spam?”

Usually they’re extremely complimentary so they’re attacking the ego first. You’ll see a lot of comments like “You are a very talented writer. I am interested in your subject and have been looking for a quality blog like this for some time.”  And of course, I’m supposed to be overcome with flattery and say, “well with an honest and accurate assessment like that, this must be a real human… and one with discriminating tastes in blog quality no less.”

Of course, some of the bots are more clever and toss in a generic piece of advice to make things a little more realistic so you’ll get something like “your blog is very good but it could be better.”  This is what we call “second level trickery”. For those people too clever to be taken in by the effusive reviews. “Ah, this person couldn’t be a bot since it has clearly offered a specific criticism,” I’m supposed to respond, “surely I should approve the comment of this vaguely critical human being.”

But the best ones are the ones that have gotten a little love from Google-Translate. The only reason I’m checking the spam folder at all is in hopes of finding gems like this one:

(Keep in mind that this blog came into existence about a week ago):

It’s fantastic to have the capability to look at a fantastic good quality publish with helpful particulars on subjects that a lot are fascinated on. I had been discussing your website with my pal just a month ago.

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