Sun, Oct
12
2003

Spammers Getting Bitter?

Sun, Oct 12, 2003

Country Road

I just don't understand the mentality of spammers. Why is it, when I've set my parameters to filter out and delete every single piece of incoming mail containing "VIAGRA" on the subject line, they try to do an end run around me and try to sell me "V1AGRA"? Isn't it obvious that I don't want to hear from them? How can they claim, with a straight face, that they've "accidentally" dropped their ad in my mailbox when they've made such a conscious decision to get around the blocks that I myself put into place? And why do they think that, after getting around my spam blocks, that I'd be willing to give them the time of day?

My only theory is that these people are not interested in selling to me as they are trying to make an annoyance of themselves. All serious telemarketers have left the e-mail world; you can see it in the way that the quality of the writing (never good to begin with) has deteriorated to the point where it's clear that the authors have, at best, a rudimentary knowledge of the English language. The only ones that are left can't be making any money from their habit, and must be in it to cover up their lack of anything resembling a normal human life.

What's gotten my goat recently is the rise of comment spammers; people leaving pointless messages in my blog with links to adult websites or other money making schemes. Some even have the audacity to try and post sexually offensive images. I've had to deal with a handful these past few months and, judging from this post by James DiBenedetto (be warned, he's more ticked than I am), he's been hit by a rise of activity. Finally, earlier today, I had to go through and clean up almost two dozen messages left on Erin's website that had been left by a thoughtless vandal.

That's what comment spammers are, really: thoughtless vandals.

Mr. G at Teledyn has likened this period to that of e-mail and newsgroups just before the rise of spam or trolls -- gloriously carefree, with most everybody able to deal with each other as rational human beings. Then some idiots take advantage of this situation, forcing people to create more complex spam blockers and moderated newsgroups. When spammers became more prolific and brought robots into the war with them, many people vacated the newsgroups as a communications medium, embracing total moderation. Movable Type will soon be installing registered comments to their program, and I may have to take it up before the spam problem gets much worse. It eats me up that these immature, sexually disfunctional individuals, could ruin these free things for the rest of us.

But what can you do? Refusing to give in and change my blog's behaviour does not give me victory. I have taken some heart in the news that some spam blocker plug-ins are in the pipe for Moveable Type. As soon as the software is ready, I'm off to download it.

In a way, acknowledging that these childish attention seekers is a bit of a personal defeat, a loss. But I will take heart in that I know that I'm a decent person trying (and largely succeeding) to run a decent blog, and these idiots are scum. I will always have a better life than they can ever hope for, and they will be left to sit and wallow in their own impotence.

I just had to get that off my chest.


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Two rounds of Thanksgiving dinners so far; on Saturday, Chris, Cameron, Joan and Charles showed up for an evening of chatting, laughter, fish, mashed potatoes and pecan pie. A great time was had by all, even though a number of invitees had to send their regrets.

Today, Erin and I headed over to my parents to meet aunts Deanna, Bette and Dorothy, for a sitdown Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, wine and tea. A great time was had by all.

Tomorrow, I will be taking Tums.

Fall arrived with a vengeance today. I don't recall when it ever did that. This morning I looked out the window and said "it looks like Fall". We've had cold days already, but only today did we get the combination of cool temperatures, grey skies, changing leaves, and that distinctive sound of the wind. Winter is definitely coming, and Fall is definitely here; make no mistake about it.


On This Day

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