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Sneaky Forum Spammers

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Tuesday November 6, 2012 )

I’m starting to wonder if the death penalty should apply to persistent spammers.

Whether it’s hitting your inbox, Facebook page, blog or forum, spammers suck up time.

As we all know time is money; but it’s so much more than that. It’s your life too – which is even more valuable.

I think it’s only fair that career spammers forfeit their own as compensation.

Just joking of course (well, sort of), but I would hate to think how many hours are spent globally in dealing with spam each year – and the mongrels keep developing new tactics.

When it comes to forum spam, most of it is really easy to pick in a moderation queue – but some can fly under the radar.

I’ve just weeded out a bunch of messages from a new forum member that at first glance looked to be legitimate. However, phrases within each post seemed very familiar.

I’m used to seeing attempts that constitute copying an entire post – or a post from another forum; but this person was taking a single phrase or sentence from other posts in the thread and compiling what was a reasonably coherent post of his/her own.

If I hadn’t been familiar with all the threads the posts were lifted from; I may not have picked it.

Moderation is made a little tougher by the fact that so many legitimate posters seem to have trouble putting a sentence together without gross grammatical or spelling errors, which makes it even more difficult to judge the spam from the ham at times. I’m quite envious of forums that attract folks who take a bit of pride in their posts.

Between spammers and semi-illiterate posters, it really makes me fearful of the future not only for the web, but our language.

..and if I see the word “loose” being used incorrectly again, I think I’m going to puke.


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