Sunday, August 17, 2008

Plagiarized comment-spam

I've received two unusual comments over the past two days in response to posts on the films Laura and The Street with No Name. In each case, something was off: neither commenter said anything to engage what I'd written. Think "parallel play." Two Google searches let me understand what was going on: these were not genuine comments at all but excerpts from unrelated (and smart!) online writing about these films.

The comment-spam strategy here is to look for a blog post with a key word or phrase and adding a pseudo-comment whose content is cut and pasted from elsewhere (in these instances, from film blogs). The commenters' URLs make it clear that the sole purpose of these phony comments is to drive traffic to commercial websites, one for bail bonds, one for fountain pens. I deleted both comments after previewing them.

I don't know if such comment-spam is automated or requires manual effort. Either way, I'm amazed that a spammer would expect a return on this investment of time and energy.

By the way, if any reader needs a fountain pen recommendation: Lamy and Pelikan are excellent choices. As to bail bonds, I wouldn't know. I always make bail.

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