Dec 072011
LEGO Pirates #7 by Flickr user mac_filko

One of the inevitabilities of running a widely-used WordPress-based blogging platform is that we have to deal with a lot of spam messages every week. Despite ensuring no comments can be posted without successful completion of a ReCAPTCHA, and having a significant and regularly updated blacklist of IPs across all of our blogs the various EDINA blog editors and I still have a lot of spammy comments to deal with…

Sometimes those comments are huge screeds of URLs, sometimes they are offers for unique financial opportunities, most often they are attempts to sell something – uggs are big right now but a while back it was botox and drugs of all kinds are perenially in vogue. More interesting are the increasing number of spam comments that, like their Twitter counterparts, are quasi-valid looking and include text clearly mined from elsewhere. These can just read like nonsense – and they are an easy delete – but with others you have to look out for a total genericness to the text and/or find the URL to confirm that they are indeed spam.

So, I welcome you then to my first in an occasional series highlighting my favourite of the weird spam comments deleted recently. I was tempted to include an excited offer of CIA Training but my favourite spammy comment this week was actually this comment:

Shiver me timbers…

Can you see these goosebumps from the spectacular blog post….

It’s a fantastic image – lets call it the Pirate of Flattery – and, of course, just the nice words needed to make you spend an extra nanosecond reading the comment before checking sender details, the accompanying URLs etc.

The Pirate of Flattery was almost beaten by a spammer claiming (across multiple blogs and with generous URL inclusion of course) to have caught his son reading our blog(s) rather than doing homework. Presumably the intent is to make bloggers panic and reply although I think most would see that as a flattering sort of chastisement – indeed it was almost tempting to publish it to reveal our previously unrealised teen appeal!

Image Credit:  LEGO Pirates #7 by Flickr user mac_filko

 December 7, 2011  Posted by at 11:12 am Week In the Life Tagged with: , ,  Add comments

  2 Responses to “Spam Comment of the Week #1: The Pirate of Flattery”

  1. If all students are poor and universities are needing cash then why not offer ” sponsored” links on these type of blogs ?? I see this page here is a PR 3 Alexa rank isnt bad either. Just a wish from an SEO r

    May the force be with You

    PS NO Urls added so no need to bother checking 😛

  2. Apologies for belated approval of comment.

    I think there are a few projects starting to use sponsorship on their blogs around the HE/FE sector and there are certainly numerous student union and student society blogs that accept adds, sponsored links etc. in order to cover costs. The challenge for official presences of any type is how to maintain trust and authenticity if you bring in ads and sponsored links in particular. An interesting issue for the sector though.

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