Friday, July 26, 2013

I, Spambot

So, I blogged the other day about automated tweets = not a fan. But the aspect of Twitter that REALLY gets me riled up is spambots. What purpose can they serve? Seriously?

That's great, spambot. Thanks! I owe ya one

For one thing, I have no idea who that "person" is. So, why would a complete "stranger" be doing me a favour by direct messaging me a link to something I have no idea what it is, with no subject, context or reason?

There's NO WAY I'm clicking that link. The end result will probably be me having a hacked Twitter account (or worse, computer) and then all my contacts get a nice DM from "me" encouraging them to click on something half-disguised as useful.

Where do spambots hang out? Do they message each other, thus creating an infinite loop of DMs, swirling into a Twitter wormhole of egg-shaped avatars, bad grammar and loads of SMILEY FACES :-)

Now, I've been around the block. Before e-mail came along I travelled a great deal and -- because my parents were separated -- wrote exactly the same postcard to them both and sent them one each so the other wouldn't feel left out. Early spam?

Hotmail got swamped. Gmail is getting swamped ... but their spam filter seems to cope pretty well. (Side note: I wrote a post once for the company blog when I worked at GCI Canada hinting that, sometimes, when you send an e-mail using Gmail, a spam comes in immediately. The conspiracy theorist in me senses that ... maybe ... the spam comes from Gmail itself to justify the filter and demonstrate its success. Nah! Couldn't be! Right?)

But, all these years later, spam still exists. Nigerian princes have tons of cash to give you; really good penny stocks that are cheap now but will only go up in value can be bought; medicines to cure what ails you are on offer aplenty.

Sign me up!

Someone must be making money somewhere. I don't believe people send these for a joke. Waste of time. There must be an ROI (Return On Idiots) otherwise why waste their time?

It's more of an annoyance than anything. Clutters up the really good content from smart people with utter crap and drivel. Wonder how long spambots will continue to thrive?

Not too many years I hope. Otherwise we could be in trouble!

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