Spam, spam, spam, spam

By Judy Berman

While I was out, intruders have been trying to make their way into my home. Despite security, their attempts have been relentless.

That’s how I feel about spammers constantly trying to hijack my blog with their unsolicited and typically irrelevant comments in an effort to advertise a product, a service – sometimes pornographic – or make an appeal for money.

It seems I spend almost as much time cleaning out the detritus as I do creating stories to post.

Akismet’s web site says it filters out comment and track-back spam on blogs so bloggers can focus on more important things. It defines “spam” as the “unwanted commercial comments” on blogs. (No disrespect is intended to the wonderful folks at Hormel Foods Corporation who make Spam.)

So, even if you’re a vegetarian and you’ve sworn off meat, you’ll still be clamoring for more “ham” content on your blog. “Ham,” Akismet says, “is what we call (spam’s) counterpart, legitimate comments.”

How do you separate the “spam” from the “ham?” That sounds like a job for Monty Python’s “Spam” and “Sir Spamalot.” It does get that ridiculous.

Imagine that you are at the Green Midget Cafe in Bromley, surrounded by a group of Vikings. In this Monty Python sketch, everything on the menu/comments contains Spam.

You, the disgruntled diner/blogger ask for “an item with the Spam removed.” The waitress does not oblige, and the Vikings chant “Spam, lovely Spam, wonderful Spam.” (The skit can be found at this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE )

Instead of thoughtful, funny comments to your blog, you get spammed – a lot.

This is not a freedom of speech issue. It’s about “consent, not content,” according to The Spamhaus Project. “Whether the Unsolicited Bulk Email (“UBE”) message is an advert, a scam, porn, a begging letter or an offer of a free lunch, the content is irrelevant – if the message was sent unsolicited and in bulk then the message is spam.”

Spamhaus says the sending of Unsolicited Bulk Email (“UBE”) is banned by all Internet service providers worldwide. Violators could wind up losing their Internet accounts and access if they send UBE, according to Spamhaus’ website.

What can you do to limit or stop spam? Do not respond to it. Filter it out of your e-mail and complain to providers about it. You also can take action through anti-spam organizations and thru any laws that might apply in your state.

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What do you think can be done to stop this unwanted intrusion? Comment below.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Graphic: No spam  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:No-spam.svg

Photo: Excalibur – Monty Python’s Sir Spamalot  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Excalibur-spam.jpg

article on spam at The Spamhaus Project  http://www.spamhaus.org/consumer/definition/