We’re all aware of spam, both email and snail-mail spam. It’s been around for ages, and we’ve come to be used to it. We’ve found ways to deal with it. Spam filters for email (although they are not quite as good as to eradicate the problem). Snail-mail, irritating as it is, has it’s positive point (about a quarter of all mail in the UK is spam, which means that if it wasn’t there we would all be paying more for postage). We’ve also come to know sms and telephone spam as well now, which is even more intrusive and harder to deal with. But ever since I started this blog I found out about blog-comment spam.

It’s scary how many spam comments I’ve gotten on this blog. They’re usually something that starts with “Nice site” and then goes on to list loads of links for cheap flights, cheap computers, cheap everything (as well as some more dodgy stuff). I never would have thought that a blog that’s been around for only about a couple of months would get bombarded daily with so much spam.

The moderation filter has of course been invaluable. The particular feature of WordPress to hold for moderation any comment with a link in it has done most of the work. Still, I get an email for every comment posted asking me to moderate it. So even though none of these spam comments ever see the light of day, I have to go through them and delete them and I essentially get spammed on my email address.

I have to ask myself what use all this is. I understand that a company that sells something and chooses mailing leaflets as a marketing strategy can benefit from such spam. Even if 0.1% of leaflet recipients actually buy something (that’s only one in a thousand) then they can expect to generate sales by sending stupid amounts of leaflets. The same stands for telephone sales. But does the same apply for the internet? As time goes by people become more aware of all the dodgy stuff out there. Are there actually people clicking on things like “You’ve just won a new laptop, click on asdfghjkl.com to get it”? I would hope not but I’m not so sure. I would hope that people unsuspecting of the evils of the internet are the ones that don’t use it much anyway, as opposed to a telephone or an address which are things everyone has. But I’m probably wrong, because all this spam exists for a reason and it must produce some results, otherwise it would go away.

Any tools we come up with to combat spam is bound to fail, as spammers will keep finding ways to bypass them. Perhaps our only chance is to hope for the time to come for (almost) everyone to be educated enough so that spam is of no use.