Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2017 scientific society talks in London blog post

Examples of spam comments received in one week

Comment spam has been, for me, a rich source of linguistic fascination as well as a window into what it is that comment spammers are trying to achieve and how they do that.

Their aim is of course to get a blog (in this case mine) to link to their website, because more links pointing to a site tells Google that the site is more valued by the internet.

The actual text of the comment is entirely irrelevant, it exists to cover for the link. A comment that contains nothing but an odd-looking link will make most people suspicious, one that's accompanied by text might well get through. My blog often talks about things that attract spam though I don't know if I see more spam than other blogs (I think it's pretty universal). Possibly I just delight in it more ;)

Thursday 19 December 2013
I've noted a few spam comments coming in over the last couple of weeks from someone calling themselves Jame Burngasser, the latest one was really plausible.

Post comment attempted on: Twitter has killed off RSS feeds, that's why your stuff doesn't work
Comment:
"When I originally commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

Also visit my website ... Jame Burngasser [hyperlinked to http:// tweetcartel. net]"

It's written in good English, it's asking for help with a plausible problem and is polite - of the spam messages I've received it's the best yet. However I recognised the name and, hovering over the link in the email notification message I get, spotted the familiar 'Tweet Cartel. net' website. So that one doesn't get published until I've made safe (mangled) the links.

Post that comment was attempted on: "Twitter's new photo preview just takes up more space - here's one partial solution":
Comment:
"naturally like your web site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very
troublesome to inform the reality then again I'll surely come back again.

Feel free to visit my blog post - James B [hyperlinked to http:// tweet cartel.n et]"
Again a coherent spam comment (I've spotted typos on this blog myself, not rife though) but "troublesome to inform the reality" lets it down a bit. Googling for the first part "however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts" shows a number of variants and also how common this spam comment is.

Currently listening to BBC6Music:
John Grant - Glacier
Daughter - Amsterdam

Friday 20 December 2013
Two spam comments this morning...

ravinder elecwire has left a new comment on your post "Phen375 weight loss pills "reviewed"":
"Shop for weight loss products online in India at Elecwire. Online shopping of weight loss products, slim & Curve body slimmer, slim evolution oil, slim sauna bath, slim sauna belt, nutritional weight loss products with cash on delivery and free shipping in India..
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and

Josi Bunder has left a new comment on your post "Where London science communicators might work":
"Classifieds are perfect for selling just about anything at all.
Here you can sell and buy anything under the sun including both novel and used products. Get more with free advertising at postallads 4free. com"

Saturday 21 December 2013
Three spam comments this morning... I like to think this sort of thing will be on English exams of the future: "What word would make more sense here?" ;)

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Public health, science, animal health and consumer-affairs related newsletters from European Commission":
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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Some tools and strategies I use for making complaints to ASA, TS etc":
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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Advice to celebrities about Twitter":
It's really a great and helpful piece of info.

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Sunday 22 December 2013
creation has left a new comment on your post "Share multiple sites with a single link - Sqworl l...":

Many thanks for making the truthful effort to explain this. I feel very strong about it and would like to read more. If you can, as you find out more in depth knowledge, would you mind posting more posts similar to this one with more information.
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Monday 23 December 2013
None!

Tuesday 24 December 2013
swatantra sharma has left a new comment on your post "Phen375 weight loss pills "reviewed"":

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Wednesday 25 December 2013
None


Thursday 26 December 2013
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Some tools and strategies I use for making complaints to ASA, TS etc":
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Friday 27 December 2013
None

Saturday 28 December 2013
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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).