The Most Heart-Wrenching Spam Comment in the History of the Internet

April 27, 2015 § Leave a comment

If you have a blog, you get a lot of spam comments–sometimes, more than actual comments. You’ll write post of deep intellectual honesty and emotional bravery (or at least some of the finest dick jokes known to man) and someone (some robot?) going by the name of drebeatsdiscount will post a comment of barely intelligible gibberish, seemingly cut and pasted from some dark corner of the internet. The goal, I think, is just to have their name up as a link to their sales and/or malware based website.

I guess the part I don’t get is who would ever click on one of these links? “Oh, here’s someone with nothing apropos to say about anything… Maybe I should see what their personal website is all about… And now that you mention it, I do need a good discount on generic viagra!” How many people need to be naive enough to click on these things to make it a worthwhile use of a grifter’s time?

Up until this morning, I was also unsure of who would even approve one of these comments to appear on their website. Is there anyone out there desperate enough for internet attention to treat each and every comment as a badge, no matter how obviously it doesn’t engage with your content? Or is there something else at work that gets these comments to stick?

I found MY answer this morning, when I received, as a comment to a post I wrote a few years ago about Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, this message from “gold jewelry hallmarks”:

“We find that talking to our son helps enormously but the pain of never seeing his physical presence is
too hard to bear right now.”

One glorious sentence, complete with artful line-breaks, exploring the relationship between hope and pain, I found that this spam was just too beautiful, too haunting to delete. I had to approve it because to do otherwise felt like silencing something that needed to be said. Even if it was some bot created by some con-artist that needed to say it.

But then I couldn’t just leave it hanging there, so I did a little writing exercise to warm up for my other work of the day, trying to come up with a little “poem” that matched the tone of a lot of these spam comments while saying something that might speak to what gold jewelry hallmarks was trying to convey. You can see the results below, or over at the original post.



Just don’t click on the link, no matter how much it breaks your heart.


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