04-20-19 – In Praise of a “Bad Pick” by Linda Lovely and Robin Weaver

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Hi, I'm Sarah Raplee, one of the Blog Queens and the author of Blindsight, Psychic Agents Book 1. In honor of our 7th Blog-o-versary, I'm giving away a $7 Amazon E-Gift Card to one lucky reader who leaves their email address in a comment on this post by midnight PST on Monday, May 21st. I will not use your email addie for any other purpose.

Since it’s our Blog-o-versary Month, as one of the Blog Queens I thought it would be fun to riff on the evolution of SPAM comments. As writers, we are told to never annoy the reader. Although some SPAM comments are amusing, most are as annoying as a heroine who constantly swings her chestnut braid over her tanned shoulder. People are busy, and SPAM wastes our time.
Seven years ago, spammers were stupid and bold as hell. Unfortunately, SPAM filters on Blogger were also not real bright, so we occasionally had some stupid SPAM comments get through to the blog before we caught them. Luckily, Blogger’s SPAM filter was smart and learned from experience, so it improved quickly.
If you’ve been reading our blog since it began in May, 2011, you may have been startled by comments such as “Buy best Viagra online cheap at www.bestsexes .com” or “Male enhancement herb special 4U at www.longdong .com” or even “Best porn FREE at www.x-xxxxx .com.”
Apparently those early spammers thought Romance readers and writers must mostly be dumb, sex-crazed, inadequate men. They actually believed we’d click on their links, which had no relevance whatsoever to the posts. And they thought we didn’t know anybody can find free porn online.
Fast forward a couple years. Blogger’s SPAM filter got a lot smarter (THANK YOU, hard-working blog techs!), catching at least 95% of SPAM messages. We began to see fewer Viagra and male-enhancement spam messages caught in our spam filter, and more “Best vibrator best climax you like” or “Dildos, all sizes every female” messages.
Spammers had finally figured out most Romance writers and readers are female! (Snicker!)
Soon they also realized they could comment on old posts (many get paid for each “comment/ad” they post) and often bloggers wouldn’t know what to do to make them stop. Luckily, Judith and I know we have an option to show existing comments on a post but block new ones. Sometimes it’s a pain to have to update the setting in multiple posts, but well worth the effort because spammers move on easier pickings.
Notice that some comments were made in extremely questionable English, obviously done using a bad translator app. Some bloggers call the result "Spamglish".
Fast forward a few more years. Spammers began to try to disguise their nature by using general statements that mimic real comments. “This is the best blog I ever read on this subject! Thank you for sharing your expertise. I hope you will check out my blog at www.realperson.com
These are what I call ‘click bait comments’. The spammer is either being paid as some kind of affiliate and hoping you will click through their website to a company they are affiliated with (and paid by), or they are desperately trying to boost their pageviews to look impressive to visitors. In both cases, they are ‘fishing’ for their own gain and have no interest in your blog post.
Sometimes click-baiters try to play on your ego or your sympathy by claiming to need help with their own website and asking you to follow the link to it from their comment. Don’t be fooled!


Fast forward to 2018. It seems the offspring of 2011’s stupid spammers have reached maturity. My post was titled THE JOY OF TRAP CAMS! Spammers’ tactics have circled back to bold and stupid!
THIS is what was caught in Blogger’s SPAM filter:
MY TESTIMONY ABOUT A GREAT SPELL CASTER CALLED (DR ALEKO) Your love spell has huge powers! I can’t believe what's happening to me! It's been only three weeks since you did that spell and Victor is already after me. Since the last week-end he phoned at least 5 times. I believe he seems to realize his mistakes. It's absolutely happening as you said!! Thank you! Your work is helping me so much…Without you I would feel so lonely and miserable…Thank you sir! Here is the Doctor contact in case you are passing through problem (followed by an email and What’s App phone number.)
Yeah, I’ll get right on it…after I check my Trap Camera for the cougar. I wonder if the Doctor has a spell to banish mountain lions?

Please share your SPAM stories below!!! 
Don't forget to leave your email addie in a comment to be eligible for the Amazon E-Gift Card drawing!


Judith Ashley said...

Sarah, this is a fun and funny post. I certainly remember those early days of Viagra and Male enhancement product spam. Totally am on board with Major Thanks and Kudos to those Blogger techs who have managed to keep almost all spam out of our spam box...Still laughing on the third read-through.

Sarah Raplee said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Judith. :-)

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

I missed those early spam messages. Guess I'm glad I did. I get enough of that nonsense in my spam email. I have Akismet on my website and it has stopped all the spam. Nothing gets through since I installed the app.


Diana McCollum said...

Wow! what a journey of Spam comments! I don't get near the amount of spam I used to. I've only had two in the last two weeks.

one said "Use this to make her chase you for s*x"

And: "Nearly Half Of People Who Use Cannabidiol Products Stop Taking Traditional Medicines" Wed 5/16

Glad I rarely get spam any more. I click as junk and then system blocks any more mail from the spammers. Great post!

jean602 said...

I missed those messages glad I did.

Sarah Raplee said...

Barbara and jean, I'm glad yo missed them too!

Sarah Raplee said...

SPAM email is a whole 'nother problem, isn't it? Thanks for sharing, Diana.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was going to read about Spam in a can.Yuck

Sarah Raplee said...

Not my favorite either!