I may have mentioned this before, but one of the main reasons I publicly upload the stuff I make for this fun little project is to get feedback and criticism that helps me catch mistakes I wouldn’t otherwise (with questionable success). So one of my priorities when making this site was including an easy way to leave this kind of feedback, which is of course the comment section at the bottom of each post. And since I personally much, much prefer staying anonymous (as opposed to pseudonymous) when talking about stuff on the internet, I decided to make the name and email fields optional.
Pretty much every WordPress tutorial blog out there will tell you this is a bad idea and invites spam, especially when used without protective measures like Captcha. Incidentally, as you may have noticed, I don’t have any Captcha here, because all those nice quick plugins would technically require me to put up some privacy notices and I’ve already put a nonzero amount of effort specifically into not needing those. So, a few months after launch, I’m happy to report that I haven’t been spammed to any unmanageable degree despite this setup. Maybe just because I haven’t been advertising this page like you would an actual business site that needs to make money and shit, but anyway.
We have in fact reached the magical mark of 10 spam comments, so I figured why not derive some entertainment from them by putting together a little showcase. There’s some funny stuff in there, after all.
(General Disclaimer: Don’t go to any links you see in the following images, they’re probably evil scam pages that will mine Bitcoins in your browser and eat your cat)
The first comment on display arrived only a few days after I launched the site, on the post about the Nokama’s Secret Village deck, which was the most recent at the time. From the moment I read “The pattern time I byword”, my attention was captured, because I’m pretty fucking sure that isn’t a correct arrangement of words in the English language.
Being young and naïve, I did actually for a moment believe this was a genuine comment because I misread “Gail” as “Gali” at first glance, but closer inspection reveals it’s just some kind of word salad about porn, complete with links to matching sites. And Terry screwed up the URL code at the bottom there, how dare he.
Much easier to identify as spam were the following short low-effort comments that rolled in at various points, all clearly trying to advertise a questionable link of some sort and not really contributing anything else.
On the other end of the length spectrum, we have Eric, who sent in entire newsletters trying to sell me his product.
Wow, capturing the name, email, AND phone number of any visitor who even so much as looks at the site, so I can send them unsolicited offers at any time? That sounds great, certainly not terrifying and dystopian at all! I sure would love if a website did that to me!
Sarcasm aside: Eric, my dude, did you seriously think someone who went out of his way to provide an anonymous comment form would be interested in this kind of data gathering bullshit? I mean, this probably isn’t a legit company seeing how the URLs in the body text randomly changed between comments, but still. Eric might actually be a real person based on the fact that the Jahnok post wasn’t even at the top when he commented, which would be kind of sad.
After that, there were some more brief comments trying to push links, this time using only the URL field for spam and instead filling the text with nice, empty words.
Thanks I guess, but you’re still getting deleted. Try to do the same thing with constructive criticism and maybe I’ll let you stay.
After these last incidents, I finally realized I should just disable the URL field, because there’s no legitimate reason to use that anyway. Once I did that, the spam died down, at least until this morning, when I was greeted by this beautiful message.
What the shit, Davvid.
And that’s all for today. By the way, in the few months it took for these 10 spam comments to come in, I received exactly 0 legitimate ones. So if you’re reading this and have something actually on-topic to say about any of the posts here, feel free to skew that ratio away from the spam a bit. Commenting is free, and you don’t even have to leave behind any of your data!