Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Posts Tagged ‘spam

Follow-up: Some problems for German consumers illustrated by Beyerdynamic and DHL

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Unfortunately, Beyerdynamic compounds its customer hostile behaviour through spam:

Today, I received a rudely* formulated spam message trying to force-feed me additional products.

*Presuming to address me by first name and using the informal “du”, which by German standards is an absolute no-no and a gross breach of protocoll in business (and most private) settings, before a mutual agreement on this point has been reached. It is far worse than e.g. calling a first-time customer “dude” in the U.S.—more on the level of calling the President “dude”.

This would have been an inexcusable abuse of my trust and data, even had the relationship been a good one. This alone would have been enough for me to terminate any further relationships with Beyerdynamic, even without the previous events.

In light of those previous events, its beyond anything and everything that is even remotely conscionable and acceptable.

Unfortunately, this is another recurring problem: Many businesses imagine that as soon as they have sold any product, received any inquiry, or (often) even have just gotten their hands on an email address, they have the right to do anything they want with it.

Written by michaeleriksson

July 2, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Comment spam

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One of the best ways to get blog traffic (at least in the short-term and on a small scale) is to comment on other people’s blogs. Some people do follow the link (on the commenter’s name) back to the blog of the commenter, if the comment is sufficiently interesting, and there is some chance that the link helps with search-engine attention. This is something that I have myself done to a great extent—partially to get traffic, but mostly because I read a lot of blogs and often find something that I actually want to comment upon.

This is all fine and dandy; however, unfortunately, there is another breed of commenters—the comment spammers. Akismet catches a lot of these; in particular, those who have a message of “Please buy my stuff at http://www.xxx.com”. Many others fly below the radar, and can be hard to differ from legitimate (but useless) comments, having a body of e.g.

Just want to say what a great blog you got here! I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers

This comment (associated with one ondiluss/http://www.turkeyphototour.com/) is one that I have seen on a very great number of blogs recently. (Typically, as a result of my having subscribed to comments on a post that I have myself commented upon).

Other negative examples of a similar character can easily be found by going to the WordPress homepagee and having a look at the comments of the featured blogs—which obviously are targeted by spammers to a higher degree than the average blog.

I strongly suggest to my fellow bloggers to mark these comments as spam. There is one obvious problem: How should an individual blogger differ between merely useless comments and spam comments? There is no reliable and fool-proof way to do this, but looking at the name or contents of the linked to blog/website can help. As an alternative, I would consider deleting/unapproving (but not necessarily marking as spam) any comment that does not have at least some value to someone. Common to these spam comments is usually that they are given out en masse with little thought, presumably often without reading the post that they are attached to, and correspondingly they tend to lack any value outside of flattery. The use of a foreign language is a particular warning sign.

Conversely, I urge my fellow commenters to only comment when they have something (even be it something small) in terms of content, reasoning, constructive feedback, corrections, whatnot, to contribute—or, obviously, if they wish to ask questions, communicate with the blogger, or similar. The wish to gain links or just to spread flattery, however, is not enough.

In response to these observations, I have revised my comment policy and retro-actively thrown out a number of comments.

Written by michaeleriksson

May 28, 2010 at 2:51 pm

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Referrer spamming

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In the few months that I have been on WordPress, I have seen a steady increase in referrer spamw. Today, e.g., I have no less than six entries from digg.com/[sitename] alone (and the day is not over yet).

The trick here seems to be to arouse the curiosity of the owner of a blog so that he clicks on the link in his statistics view—with an unintended (from his POV) “digging” of the link as a consequence.

With a bit of luck, WordPress will install some type of central filter to block this kind of spam from the statistics (which can be distorted in a non-trivial manner). Until then, I strongly advice my fellow bloggers to under no circumstances reward the spammers by following links to digg.com—nor any other link with a suspect name (e.g. “onlines-accounting-degree-info[…]”).

Written by michaeleriksson

May 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm

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