Connecting Weblogging


“Obviously, your not from my south because down here we hate gay people and we hate your beliefs about this subject Shelley! Oh and I don’t have sex with my horse and obviously your bible isn’t baptist!”

I laughed when I read this, thinking to myself, “You can’t pay someone to write words such as this!” Of course, at this point I realized that yes you can. This comment is so stereotypical of ’southern Baptists’ that I knew almost immediately it was fake.

A little checking on the commenters for my Brokeback post showed that two at least–Holly and Hoss–are fake commenters, coming from known SPEWS listed IP addresses; arriving via search engine. Though Nate and Machelle don’t come from blacklisted IP addresses, they also came from similar search requests, each with suspicious sounding hotmail addresses. The rest of those who commented either had commented here before or have unique, and valid, email addresses.

Following the search engine trail, I can see the same type of writing used in my comments in comments in other posts, though which ’side’ the commenter is on changes from post to post. I imagine if we did some checking on IP addresses, we’d find that ‘Holly’ commented as ‘James’ or ‘Linda’ elsewhere.

I’m not sure if this flurry of emails is from kids out to have a little fun, or spammers generating ‘controversy’ for a movie in order to increase interest. I do know that next time I want to write on something such as Brokeback, I won’t included the name in my title.

In fact, I’m creating a new category, ‘unclassified’, and adding a robots.txt entry to exclude entries in this category from search engine web bots. There is no value in getting visits from search engines for controversial topics such as these.

In the meantime, I’ve closed down commenting in that post, but left the comments–as a reminder the next time I start to react to a throwaway comment.

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