Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say or I’m Not That Stupid . . .

We live in a world where certain people thrive on the assumption that  everyone else is STUPID. Or at least many people act on the assumption that everyone else lacks in intelligence or the ability to think, recognize lies, or make wise decisions.

The current election season in America is evidence of that, since every campaign ad, debate, or whatever is filled with obfuscation, lies and wordplay to trick all the feeble-minded voters out there. I admit sometimes to feeling stupid when surrounded by the craziness because it is difficult to wade through the layers of lies and mis-directions to uncover the truth about issues, candidates or anything. That’s why all I can do is vote my conscience and vote based on my own understanding of the issues.

But this isn’t about the elections. The inspiration for this post came from my decision to clear out some spam comments on the blog this morning. We all get them, and it is pretty easy to recognize some of them: no real name, no picture, multiple links, repetitive address, on a post from way back etc. I admit, when I first began blogging, I fell for a couple of spam comments because I was simply so excited to be getting a comment on my posts.  However, after I started receiving real comments from real human beings, and interacting with those human beings in other ways, I began to think about spam comments and wonder–who are these people, what do they hope to achieve, and do they think I’m stupid?

This morning I discovered this comment in spam,

“I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

Now, this is one of those unusual comments which could trick you into believing that it is actually from a real person who  has something to say. It was on my most recent post. There are no links to unknown pages. And, although it doesn’t specifically address anything in my post, there’s nothing so random in it to suggest that it isn’t about that post. There is also a name attached to the comment (although only a first name). The sentence makes sense, and it even includes an emoticon.

However, I’m not STUPID. Let’s look at the above comment more closely, shall we? The language suggests an intimacy between me and the comment writer. “You deserve it my friend,” as if we have already had some kind of relationship building even if only through the blogosphere.

Now, it’s possible. I’ve made several friends through this blog. Some I’ve only interacted with through technology, some I have met in person. Some I talk to on Facebook on a regular basis. Some have faded away, but reappear at surprising times.

Meeting fellow bloggers Kathy McCullough and Tori Nelson. Picture borrowed from Kathy’s post about the experience. Click on the image to read that post.

Still, I will include them in my list of friends or at least acquaintances who I would like to get to know better.  I can say that the friendships I’ve formed through the blog have some similarities:

  • We may not agree on everything but we all respect each other’s opinions, ideas, and journey.
  • We show that respect by making thoughtful comments, giving constructive criticism, and occasionally sending virtual love and support to each other.
  • Most of them seem to say what they mean and mean what they say.
  • All of them recognize that sometimes people need space away from the blogosphere.
  • Each one of them is intelligent, creative, and challenges me to become a better writer, artist, and human being.

I could list them all here, but I think they know who they are.

These are people that I believe I would be friends with in person if we were near enough. I don’t always read their posts. They don’t always read mine. But, we read, respond, and react with thoughtfulness as true friends should.

A true friend of me and my blog would not include the not-so-subtle insult of the first part of this spam comment: “I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring. . . ” Nor would they try to grace me with the honor of ” I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist.”

Do me a favor, don’t bother.

I’m the first to admit that my posts aren’t always scintillating prose full of wit and wisdom. I welcome constructive criticism of my work. But, I would never tell a friend, a fellow blogger, or anyone else that I was bored by their writing (unless I was giving constructive criticism to a student, and I would never use the word “bored”). Nor would I become friends with someone who leaves comments like this.

Seriously, what do spammers hope to achieve and why do they think we are so stupid?

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. wordswithnannaprawn
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 09:40:36

    The best function I enabled when setting up my blog was activating the spam filter……I don’t think I’m too stupid to fall for the majority of spam but others have been a wee bit trickier to interpret and would probably have slipped through otherwise. I’m saving all of the more outlandish comments to put together for a post at some point, along with the frankly bizarre search terms that lead to my blog! On the whole I’ve had a positive experience in the blogging community and I’m so glad to have come across your blog today (and I mean that most sincerely and spam free)!

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 09:43:26

      Now that’s the kind of comment that is welcome, spam free, and could be the beginning of a very good friendship. I always love hearing the bizarre spam comments and the list of search terms for my posts is crazy sometimes.

      Reply

      • wordswithnannaprawn
        Oct 26, 2012 @ 09:46:52

        Awesome! being in the land of Oz there would normally be a very long pause/time delay to this comment but I’m up unusually late tonight. One of my search terms was “photos of prawns”…that just creeps me out a little bit; who searches for photos of prawns???!!

        Reply

  2. lisaspiral
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:13:02

    I agree that the spammers are a little “off” but they do seem to be getting better and better at it and that disturbs me. The ones that are really hard to distinguish are the ones who say “It’s my first time to your blog and I really like it. I think I will add you to my favorites.” Except that they don’t actually sign up to “follow” you so there is still a clue. WordPress spam filter does seem to do a pretty good job.

    Reply

  3. Sandra Tyler (@SFiberworks)
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:14:00

    That at least almost seems real; I can’t spam that is barely coherent. My favorite spams are twitter ones, you know, “someone is saying awful stuff about you…” oh, dear!

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 12:32:09

      I haven’t really noticed Twitter spam because I’m not on there a lot, but if people want to say awful things about them c’est la vie. The barely coherent ones sometimes make me laugh.

      Reply

  4. thelifeofjamie
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 10:31:41

    the spam comments are unreal sometimes…if anything- they would have better luck if they improved their grammar!

    Reply

  5. SmallHouseBigGarden
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 14:26:46

    I chuckled to read this today…for the first time in ages two spam comments slipped through on my last two posts! You are right…they’re somewhat harder to suss out.
    I have NEVER understood what the point of it is! Are they full of malware or adware?

    Reply

    • Lisa Wields Words
      Oct 26, 2012 @ 14:29:11

      I’m not sure. I think in some cases they just want you to click to their link to up their stats. And I admit, once in a while I do wander over to see if it is real or not, so they win on that one. I think people are just bored.

      On a totally not related note, in your picture above you look a lot like my sister. She never reads my blog, so for a moment I was shocked. Then I realized it wasn’t her. 😉

      Reply

  6. Kathryn McCullough
    Oct 26, 2012 @ 17:04:51

    Damn, that’s an insane comment,even for a spammer. Guess I don’t have the monopoly on insanity? ANd I LOVE having developed a friendship with you, Lisa. And that’s no spam! Thanks for sharing the photo. We all look pretty good in that one, don’t you think? Though you and I look like teeny-tiny people compared to Tori. Think how short we’d look if it weren’t for Thomas! LOL
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Reply

  7. nrhatch
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 11:46:43

    Very nice blog! Keep up the good work! ~ Viagra

    interesting and informative blog thanks a lot for all the information provided. ~ lista de email

    Write on!

    Reply

  8. TheIdiotSpeaketh
    Oct 28, 2012 @ 14:12:20

    I have gotten that same exact spam comment. And as for the photo, you are right…. Tori is a Giantess….. or you and Kathy are munchkins 🙂

    Reply

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