How Spam Comments Are Generated

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

Kinda disheartening … probably due a hiccup in some script, but one of the spam comments on my blog did show the source material this spammer uses. Looks like this (goes on and on, complete file “spam_template.txt” here):

{In my opinion|Personally|In my view}, if all {webmasters|site owners|website owners|web owners} and bloggers made good content as you did, the {internet|net|web} will be {much more|a lot more} useful than ever before.|
I {couldn’t|could not} {resist|refrain from} commenting. {Very well|Perfectly|Well|Exceptionally well} written!|

As far as I can tell, the curly brackets with the vertical line show alternatives, and the vertical line outside of the curly brackets show the end of a comment to chose from.

Frankly, I’m glad that akismet takes care of most of the spam comments (49,506 and counting!), and what it does not get is usually caught by my default bullshit detector: Any comment that is not specific to the content (or a question that could seriously be asked) gets marked as spam.

Still, interesting to see the base material … it will be interesting to see what happens when automated text comprehension gets better … (well, delete the URL and keep the comment ;-)).

But even then, I prefer human comments 🙂


  1. In my humble opinion if all psychologists and bloggers made good content as you did, the world will be a little bit more useful than ever before. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!

  2. Hey, ich war grad am Essen! (schneller freischalten kann ich nicht, und auf meiner Whitelist bist du auch nicht (aus gutem Grund) ;-))

  3. Ich denke, CAPTCHAS sind was wie bärensichere Mülltonnen:

    Campaigns to bearproof all garbage containers in wild areas have been difficult because, as one biologist put it, ‘There is a considerable overlap between the intelligence levels of the smartest bears and the dumbest tourists’

    Klar, mancher Spam kommt durch, aber es gibt auch eine Mindesthürde für die Beiträgsqualität 😉

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