Outsourced Comment Spam

I now have a blog which allows comments, so ergo, I get comment spam. Luckily, I also have a WordPress extension which catches most of it before I even see it, so it doesn’t bother me. It is amazing, though, the lengths to which spammers will go just in the hopes that my modest blog will publish their offers of cheap Viagra and questionable stock offers. Most of the posts come from robots who spam indiscriminately with comments someone thought would be appealing, like “I love you” and “great post!” Some spammers will even set up web sites and post a link to one of my articles on it, hoping that will generate a trackback link my readers will somehow find irresitible.

So I was bemused the other day when I found out some poor schmuck in Hyderabad, India had had to use a search engine to find blog posts related to cars. He’d found my post on Who Killed the Electric Car? from more than a month before and clicked the comment link. He wrote something indeterminate about electric cars and threw in a ton of links to some sort of car rental or car buying company web site in the U.S. So, what now, Americans have become too lazy to post their own spam, and are hiring third world people to do it for them? Is spam-posting software so expensive now that it’s cheaper to hire some Indian guy to ‘trol the web for blog postings barely, if at all, related to the product to be promoted? Are the Americans who used to do this sort of work now unemployed? And is the Indian guy so inept he couldn’t even come up with a macro to do it for him? Dude, even the Chinese spammers write programs to do their spamming for them these days.

I suppose I might feel sorry for the guy in Hyderabad, having to sit around in some cyber-sweatshop, reading Daft Musings and wracking his brain for the right English-language cliche to use. If he had any real skills, after all, he’d be earning a few more pennies a day working a tech support line for some stingy American technology company, or freelancing as a code slinger for some brain-drained Silicon Valley start up. But he chose to work for a spammer, so I let the comment disappear into the garbage bag of my WordPress extension, and just mock him for his efforts.

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