Thesaurian spam

The spam filter caught this reply to my post with the title ‘The stupidity of big books (and the joy of cheap paperbacks)‘:

wooow, take a fancy to your things concerning Heraclitean The stake » The vapidness of swollen books (and the felicity of of small account paperbacks

Yup, the spambot has just run the post title through a thesaurus.

The idea of course is to generate fake comments which are genuine-sounding enough to avoid being deleted. It’s an ingenious idea, even if the results are a bit peculiar. I guess it might have worked better if the original post title was something shorter and less elaborate.

If nothing else, ‘the vapidness of swollen books’ is quite a nice line of iambic tetrameter.

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Hot trends in spam

It is fascinating to see the evolving ways in which spambots try to fool us into thinking they are real people. It’s like a very narrow version of the Turing Test.

In response to a birdy post which mentioned, among other things, ring-necked duck, someone submitted this almost-relevant piece of commentary:

Like the scaups she has a white crescent at the base of her bill although it is less distinctive than that of either the Greater or Lesser Scaup. The Female Ring-necked Duck can be distinguished from the scaups by the thin white eye-ring that trails back to her ear and the peaked shape of her head as well as by differing habitat. A generalized diet may allow the Ring-necked Duck to colonize new areas and habitats that other species might not be able to use and this may be why it seems to be faring well.

It doesn’t actually make sense as a real human response to the post, but at a glance I thought it might do. Although the fact it was posted by a website offering offshore banking services would probably have been enough to tip me off.

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comment spam

The first comment waiting in my spam filter just now reads “May I borrow some articles from your site? Who should I contact?” And just for a moment I thought it might be a genuine comment which had been mistakenly identified as junk, even though it was apparently posted by someone called ‘daivaufeijau’.

Then I noticed that the next comment (from deawisy, saying “I just want to say THANKS to all people in this community”) linked back to the same webpage. And so did the comments from vujei and ajauxiseag. In total there were 241 comments all linking back to the same address, ranging from “Can you make pages for foreign people? For example Spanish” to “The greatest homage we can pay to truth is to use it.” These fake comments would really be more plausible if there were only one or two of them.

Thank fuck for Akismet, which somewhere in the middle of all that lot caught its 5000th spam comment since I installed it about last November.

Spam email header of the day

Picasso blog hardly Louvre

with honourable mentions to:

Your future, methylene iodide
Order status, parrot-red
Better Success, wild-goose plum
Your money, mole drainage
Future, worm snake
Hi, Mid-siberian