Monday 7 January 2013

Spam and Blogging the Welfare Cuts

No, this isn't about the fare on offer from the mushrooming number of soup kitchens food banks, but about the spam bots crawling around out there.

Since I returned to blogging back in October I've noticed the number of spam comments this blog attracts is an order of magnitude above that I experienced before February 2011, when I took my 18 month break. Some of it is your usual porn stuff (I'll be battening down the hatches - a post on porn and erotica is due soon), and other crap comes from self-described 'social media entrepreneurs'.

There is, of course, the gnawing flattery of the spambot, like "My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann't [sic] imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks! Stop by my weblog". That comment was spam advertising genital wart cream.

But now I regularly blog on benefit cuts and social security-related issues (e.g. Jobseekers Allowance, the Social Fund, and Housing Benefit), I've started attracting opportunist spam.

All of a sudden, the crap advertising gambling has shot through the roof. And, strangely enough, payday loans and other forms of legal loan sharking have become an increasingly dominant feature of the spam received.

Have other bloggers who regularly write about these issues experienced similar trends?


asquith said...

They could make more of an effort, couldn't they? For instance, someone at a publishing house could read the blog, decide you'd be sympathetic to the views expressed in a new book, and send a free copy ahead of official publishing time in exchange for a review. That's what they'd do if they tried. Surely genital wart treatment salesmen are wasting their time spamming every blog they can find, and this would occur to them.

Phil said...

I'm not against anyone wanting to send me free stuff. Or money.

Anonymous said...

yup, payday loan spam exploded like its getting paid some sort of wacking great interest rate per bot-hour - and I was writing about Marx on credit...