Back in 2008, I created a multi-media alt opera entitled Communication Breakdown: A Journey Down the Misinformation Superhighway. This production featured an electroacoustic soundtrack to spoken performances by actors Penn Kemp and Jeff Culbert along with video projections by Maurice Carroll. It was presented at the McManus Theatre as part of the annual Fringe Theatre Festival.
The focus of the production was that the entire “libretto” consisted of the text taken from spam e-mails. For around two years, I collected junk e-mail via a couple of accounts that I deliberately set up as spam magnets. Over that period of time, I collected over 8,000 spams. With the assistance of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, I was able to use this source material to create an opera which was based solely on the content of these copious bits of annoying junk.
After spending months pouring over the e-mails, I whittled down the number to a usable number with appropriate content for the production. These ranged from scams to relieve your bank account of cash to offers of various sex toys and services. The amount that I was left with after the filtering process meant that I was able to provide enough raw material in order to make all three performances of the work different in their content. So, each of the three performances was unique in its own way.
Back in April of this year, I decided to start this blog in order to coincide with my retirement from the radio airwaves. That is when I revamped my website using WordPress.
I’ve found that WordPress has been a very useful tool in order to organize and diffuse my written thoughts via my blog and website. However, I have also discovered that it is just another one of those magnets from spam.
From the first day that I set up the blog/website, I started to get spam. This has come in the form of people attempting to post junk messages as comments on various blog post pages. Fortunately, the posts are moderated and I must manually go in to approve them before they get displayed on the site. In fact, the banner at the top of the page explicitly states, “Please note: Posts are moderated. This is a spam-free zone”.
This, however, does not seem to stop people from trying to bog down these page with incomprehensible gobbledygook. While most of these posts are filtered into a spam file folder, I still manage to get quite a few heading into the regular folder awaiting my consent to allow it to be posted as a legitimate comment on various blog post pages.
At this point in time, I wonder just why people can even be bothered to try to circulate this kind of garbage? What is the point? Apparently, some people have way too much time on their hands and it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy to waste their time.
I would imagine that in no time this post will soon be attracting even more useless offers to the comments section. Spammers are as welcome as a Hitler made of spiders.
Edit: Since this original posting, I decided to disable the comments function of the blog posts and web pages. The junk continued arriving. So, I disabled another function called “pinging” and the junk miraculously disappeared. I have noticed on my stats page that I still continue to get visitors coming via those scammy websites. But, they can no longer drop their dung on my lawn (so to speak). So long, f’ers.