Spammers (Premium)

I start the morning the same way every day: Wake up, drink coffee, and read the news. And then I start wrestling with spammers on

Spam generally takes two forms on the site. There are spam comments on the articles and posts that Mehedi, Brad, and I write, and on the forum posts that readers create. And then there are spam forum posts, which are easily spotted in the “Currently on Forums” module on the front page.

I don’t understand either form of spam, much like I don’t understand why spammers have historically sent crap to people’s homes in the forms of leaflets and other mass-mailings. The success rate must be very low. And more generally, I’ve always felt that people who aren’t helping should just get the hell out of the way. If you’re in the way, you’re a problem.

Intellectually, however, I really wrestle with the pathology of people who go to the effort to create an account for the site---we’ve made it more difficult over the years specifically to combat this kind of thing---and then start posting what is so clearly spam. Some of these idiots even add a profile photo. I mean, none of this stuff is even slightly sophisticated.

Personally, I find this trampling over something I’ve had a hand in creating to be particularly insulting. We conceived as a destination for tech enthusiasts, not for insect spammers. We want there to be good conversations, debates, and exchanges of ideas. I’ve always believed, and I’m often proved right, that I---and the other contributors---have as much to learn from readers as the reverse. The back and forth is what matters most. Learning is the best.

And then these people, these insects, just keep burrowing in every day, trying to ruin it. For some reason.

It reminds me of a story you may have heard me tell before.

We first moved to our previous home in Dedham, Massachusetts in early 2002. That house was on a curved corner, and we had a lot of property bordering the two intersecting streets, and a lot of lawn to mow. When I first started mowing that lawn---I referred to the front lawn as “the front 9” and the back lawn as “the back 9”---I noticed some number of dog droppings each week. I didn’t own a dog. Didn’t want to own a dog. Most certainly didn’t want to clean up after a dog. This was troubling.

A few months into this, I was making coffee one weekend morning and happening to catch some movement out on the front lawn. Sure enough, there was a large dog, wiggling its butt over my perfectly mowed lawn and leaving me another present. I ran outside to try and stop this, but I was too late. However, I did see the dog go trotting down the street to a home on the next corner.

So, I grabbed one of the kids’ paper lunch bags, shoveled the dog mess inside, and neatly folded the top as if it were ready for lunch. Then I took it down to that house on the next corner and rang the doorbell. It was about 8 a...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC