A grudging nod to the ‘crusading’ spammer


It’s taken more than five years of blogging, but I’ve finally come across a spammer who has grudgingly earned my respect.

A recent search of my spam folder showed the usual array of half-assed unsolicited emails, ranging from “Toronto Escorts” (sorry, I’m not an “escort” kind of guy and if I were, I wouldn’t travel 1,500 miles to be “escorted”), to sites for cosmetic surgery loans and cellulite diets.

And, of course, there were the usual abusers of English grammar: “My family members all the time say that I am killing my time here at net, however I know I am getting familiarity daily by reading thes fastidious content.”

But tucked amid the above detritus was this gem, appended on to a post I had written about the gruesome reality of the American Civil War: “This takes into account the view of the Latin Church and medieval contemporaries such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux that gave equal precedence to comparable military campaigns against pagans, heretics and many undertaken for political reasons. This wider definition includes the persecution of heretics in Southern France, the political conflict between Christians in Sicily, the Christian re-conquest of Spain and the conquest of heathens in the Baltic.”

Oh, this was still spam; the comment came from an individual promoting a Spanish-language herbal remedy website.

But it was several notches above the usual unsolicited monstrosities that are the bane of electronic communication.

Given the nature of the comment and the fact that it had to do with war, if not the War Between the States, I decided to attempt to seek the source of the comment.

It took just a few moments to discover the comment was taken directly from Wikipedia’s definition of the Crusades, specifically, the 20th century description of the Crusades as inclusive of all military efforts against either foes in the Middle East or Europe, at the direction of the Papacy.

So, it appeared, someone had taken the time to cut and paste this comment, rather than randomly generating barely decipherable text – think “All your base are belong to us” – or, as another spammer did, sending a useless shill: “Coach Jerseys – 5850 yuan to 3510 yuan.” (I’ll get back to you after I get my yuan-to-dollars converter fixed.)

Of course, spammers being spammers, I realize that there was probably some logical explanation:

  • Perhaps this is the same comment that this spammer throws up on every blog and it just so happened that mine, coincidently, involved war. After all, there is really no other connection between my post and the comment besides the fact they both touch on war;
  • Perhaps this is some master spammer who has created a brilliant program to pull coherent complete sentences from Wikipedia with at least tangential relevance to the blog post being spammed; or
  • Perhaps this is a neophyte spammer, who still cares enough about spamming to try to make every unsolicited comment worthwhile.

No matter what, I have to doff my cap to anyone who manages to work Saint Bernard of Clairvaux into spam. Well played, you rogue.

(Not, mind you, well-played enough for me to post your message so that your spam is viewable, and not well-played enough for me to mention the name of your website, but well-played, nonetheless.)

And no matter what method the spammer in question used to generate their comment, nor the fact that it was plagiarized directly from Wikipedia, it still beats the heck out of the usual tripe, which continues to flow unabated.

Consider the following, which I received just the day before the comment I’ve highlighted above: “I uncovered your web page via search motors even when looking for the connected topic, your web page demonstrated up up. give many as a consequence of you for the fabulous blog. Amazing skills! hold on man, you rock!”

(Top: Philip II of France arriving in Holy Land during the Third Crusade.)

12 thoughts on “A grudging nod to the ‘crusading’ spammer

  1. I’m trying to think of any decent spam I’ve received. Doesn’t come anywhere near that. Clever eh?

    Meant to post up a not very friendly comment I received on one of my blogs and never got round to it, probably just as well. Not half as interesting as yours.

    Congratulations 😀

  2. Let me quickly find some of my spam… “Top no deposit bonus” casino games. I’m not a gambling man really but does anyone know what the heck that even means? I’ve got a lot of those “braggy foreign” comments before like “I always look at you fascinating comment make morning goood (link to spam website” lol

  3. In my own case I have found that 95% of the spam Comments are obviously spam-like or simple gobbledygook but you get some very clever stuff too, especially the ones that make use of political discourse. I’ve been fooled a couple of times into thinking these were real Comments. I had a very complex response recently to a post on Scottish independence that I was able to trace back to a copy ‘n’ paste from a ten-year old article on the Scotsman newspaper.

    The ones that confuse the most are the spam comments with no obvious purpose or intent. Spam for the sake of it. Why?

    • I shudder to think what the Internet would be like without spam filters. I get so frustrated with the small amount that does get through that if there were no filters I’d probably drop emailing and blogging altogether.

  4. Up, up, man, you rock! 😛 Just watch and see – spammers are going to have the audacity to comment on this post.

    Fun post, thanks for it.

    • On the couple of occasions in the past when I’ve written about spam, it’s just generated more spam. But it appeared to be computer-driven spam, rather than actual individuals taking the time to send me their unwanted solicitations. There must be something in the coding that spammers use that draws it to sites that highlight spam. I guess they’re hoping for an endless loop of spam.

      Thanks for commenting. I figured I ought to get something out of the aggravation of having to go in from time to time and delete all the useless comments.

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