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!