Spam and trolls are unfortunately part of life on the internet. Spam is bulk messages (like advertising) sent indiscriminately. Trolling is nasty comments, usually about the recipient, with the express intention of upsetting that recipient. Also seemingly indiscriminate.
They have a lot in common. They are indiscriminate. They are unwanted. There are methods for blocking the sender. Even though spam is generated by a program, that program is set up by a human. So ultimately both spam and trolling are totally uncaring about the recipient.
Recently I think I received a combination of the two – the troll spam.
This website, which is build on a WordPress template, receives spam. It has spam filters, so I’m sure there is much I don’t see. But then there are “comments” I get which the spam filters want my opinion on, my approval. As of this post, I have not approved any of them, as they have all been spam.
Much of these comments have just been quoting a small portion of my own post back at me. Not approved.
Many of them are what seem like people soliciting for business, usually saying they could write better posts for me, to help with my traffic. Usually these are written in really bad English with spelling mistakes. Obviously not to be taken seriously. Not approved.
I suppose these two are just an attempt to get a link appear on this website, back to the original poster. They are attempt to generate back-links for someone, and nothing more.
Then there are the ads for SEO. This is proper advertising spam. They seem like that are genuine SEO generation companies. But it’s still spam. Not approved.
Then the other day I got a comment that required my approval, which I thought was the first piece of trolling this website had received (A rite of passage?). I wasn’t go to approve it, but it had piqued my interest. Who had got so angry with me as to write to me and slate the website? The comment came with various bits of meta data, so I decided to investigate if I could find a bit more about the sender.
Disappointingly, it turned out to come from the same places the other spam had come. It wasn’t a troll, it was just spam. It was another attempt to get some back-links to a totally irrelevant site, onto this website. I must admit it was quite clever, because it appeared to have been written in response to the themes of this website, but I realise I was projecting myself on to it. The angry comments could have fitted with a wide range of blogs. It was just a clever (but nastily written) piece of spam, trying yet another way to see if it could slip through the cracks.