I don't usually have much good to say about the service that hosts this blog. To be
fair and give credit where it's due, I'll repeat that in addition to being free — without requiring advertising of any kind, a big plus to me — Blogger’s spam filter works very well. Frankly, I can't recall a single instance of 'bot messages getting through
since I opted to turn off word verification on comments earlier this year in the wake
of the service's switch to a much uglier, more onerous CAPTCHA format.
While the blog has in fact been getting more spam than it used to, all of that spam is getting queued up in a virtual folder to await my attention as it should. It seems like more spam comments made it through in the past, too, which leads me to suspect that in a rare instance of foresight Blogger worked to shore up its filtering in anticipation
of users ditching verification after the recent change.
Most of what got through were strings of Chinese hànzì characters that translated to
a vaguely poetic phrase and linked to sites featuring images of scantily-clad women if not outright porn. And porn is, no surprise, still the #1 destination for most of the spam that the filter catches, but for every few "comments" that nakedly hawk pics of nude celebrities there's one that pretends to be actual conversation with poetry of its own — in English; often broken English to be sure, yet therein lies much of the skewed poetry.
"You can definitely see your expertise within the paintings you write," one especially lyrical slice of spam read. "The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart."
I was almost touched.
Here are some more excerpts from my favorite entries. Not all of them even pretend
to directly reference the post on which they're "commenting"; rather, they're blatantly selling things. A couple just sound like the earnest but syntactically mangled ravings of my friend Joan.
"Goodness evening! Skeddadle to me insert myself. Information describing my creation is indeed completed — proceed to step implementation."
"Ladies I am sorry to go off topic, but I am really pissed at the election result being forecast by this frigging horoscope site. I for one hope they are frigging wrong. Should I just pack up and move to Costa Rica?"
"In case anxiousness will be frequent or maybe too much to handle, if this interferes with your associations in addition to actions, them puts a stop to becoming functional — that's when you have surpassed the road from regular, productive anxiety in the place of hysteria conditions."
"Today is documentation poorly.”
I am inclined to agree.
Related: Imperceptible Sally • The Mean Streak • Siteseeing