Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Spam comments

In case any of the spambots posting comments to my blog are sentient and understand English, I'd like to point some things out.

  1. Nobody reads my blog (at least not at the blogspot address that the comments are posted to)
  2. I get notified of comments to my blog by email and I delete every spammy one.

You're wasting my time and yours by posting spam to my blog. It would probably be better if you stopped.

Personally I find it hard to hate spammers. Well, a lot of them, at least. I'm currently in the middle of a frustrating and difficult job search. But I know that it's possible for me to find a job in my chosen field with a stable employer. A lot of people get involved in the spam business because that's not possible for them. Some are clever programmers that, because of where they live and their language skills, don't really have an opportunity to work for "legitimate" software companies. Many others may not even be that -- they're just people playing demanded roles in a global market with enormous wealth disparities. The entry costs for spamming are so low compared to the entry costs for other global business models that it's really no surprise people turn to spam. If we in the USA are annoyed by it we should get involved in micro-loans or something.

Really, the worst offenders are educated people from rich countries. This blog post will get mirrored on Facebook, so I'll use Facebook as an example. Get people to sign up all their friends through Facebook. Now they're a captive audience. If you quit Facebook because of its ludicrous policies on privacy and advertising you're quitting all your friends (who can't be bothered to remember your email address anymore). So nobody ever leaves, even when Facebook makes unpopular decisions -- and they can do this because they have near-total control over your data and the software you access it with. This is the best contribution Mark Zuckerberg could make to the world with his Harvard education. To me that's a lot more scummy than what 419 scammers do, and about on par with most Craigslist scams.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Defending spammers?! You are too kind Al, too kind!