I don’t understand this odd form of spam

By Steve Outing

As a web publisher, you come to expect spam. My company’s websites are constantly bombarded by comment spam — but fortunately our spam filter catches most of it, and it’s the rare one that we have to delete to get it out of public view.

In just the last few days, we’ve started to get hit with a new form of spam. And this one I just don’t understand why the spammers are doing it, and what they get out of it.

All of a sudden I start to get “Copyright violation” e-mails in my inbox. These are generated and sent to me when someone on one of our sites has clicked the “Report misconduct” link, to alert us to when someone has posted something bad so we can check it out. The messages — I’ve gotten dozens in the last couple days — compliment us on our sites. (“A fantastic site, and brilliant effort. A great piece of work.”) Each message is a bit different, and links to some oddball website.

Now, I’m the only person who sees these; they are not published anywhere on the site. So what is this spammer’s motivation? What is the spammer gaining from sending me a bunch of faux complimentary messages?

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

10 Responses to "I don’t understand this odd form of spam"

  1. Subir Ghosh
    Subir Ghosh 10 years ago .Reply

    Spammers, we all agree, are scums of the earth. And it takes only one pervert to understand another. I think we can never know what makes them think and act the way they do. The only thing, I believe, they have in mind is: keep at it.

  2. Subir Ghosh
    Subir Ghosh 10 years ago .Reply

    Spammers, we all agree, are scums of the earth. And it takes only one pervert to understand another. I think we can never know what makes them think and act the way they do. The only thing, I believe, they have in mind is: keep at it.

  3. Ian Douglas
    Ian Douglas 10 years ago .Reply

    We get something equally baffling at telegraph.co.uk. It’s a string of nonsense words, sometimes with a link that doesn’t go anywhere and, even weirder, sometimes with no link at all.

  4. Ian Douglas
    Ian Douglas 10 years ago .Reply

    We get something equally baffling at telegraph.co.uk. It's a string of nonsense words, sometimes with a link that doesn't go anywhere and, even weirder, sometimes with no link at all.

  5. Ryan
    Ryan 10 years ago .Reply

    We see tons of this – it’s just coming from scripts directed at any mailto: link on the Web.

  6. Ryan
    Ryan 10 years ago .Reply

    We see tons of this – it's just coming from scripts directed at any mailto: link on the Web.

  7. Derek
    Derek 10 years ago .Reply

    They’re guessing & hoping that the form is a comment form. Spam bots inject links into any form they can find, hoping to artificially boost backlinks in Google.

  8. Derek
    Derek 10 years ago .Reply

    They're guessing & hoping that the form is a comment form. Spam bots inject links into any form they can find, hoping to artificially boost backlinks in Google.

  9. Howard Owens
    Howard Owens 9 years ago .Reply

    I trust FB more to get a message through spam filters and get a person\'s attention (say, yours) better than a straight e-mail.

    But you raise a valid issue about archives.

    Speaking of archives … online-news?

  10. Steve
    Steve 9 years ago .Reply

    Good point, Howard! My e-mail in-flow is too much for me to keep up with, so I do sometimes miss stuff. But if someone contacts me via Facebook, I\'ll see it. … But that\'s for now, when incoming messages on FB aren\'t that frequent yet.

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