So, spam. I knew I’d end up with a fair amount of it on this blog, which is why comments are all moderated. It doesn’t really bother me that much anymore, as I’ve just accepted it as a fact on the Internet. So the fact that I’m getting comment spam doesn’t aggravate me – once The Googles had crawled my site, I knew I’d be getting spam.

Sure, the comment spam is stupid – I mean, they make it as generic as possible in order to get it through spam filters, after all, so it reads like some air-headed ditzy human decided to post something just to make himself or herself look like he/she’s participating.

No, the part that pisses me off are the typos.  Intentional typos, that is.

Screenshot of comments

Read those.  Read them carefully.  Each one of these were obviously from the same spam engine, as they all have the same things in common.

  1. They all make as generic of a comment as possible.
  2. They all use generally proper English grammar – probably above that of the average commenter on any particular popular website.
  3. All of their comments have two clauses – either two independent clauses, one independent and one dependent clause, or one independent clause and one interjection.
  4. All of them have a typo no human would be likely to make.

What do I mean by the last one?  Use the four above screenshotted spam posts as examples.

  1. “Supreoir” vs. “Superior”.  Two transpositions in the same word, and a word that isn’t very common for standard speech.  This is probably the most “possible” of the typos mentioned in here, and even then they are flawed.  Both of them are unlikely to be made in the same sentence because they’re on the same side of the keyboard – that is, you aren’t making a typo because of hitting a key with one hand a smidge to early, or even hitting it in a wrong key order.  Have you ever noticed that you’ll typo the word “pre” as “per”?  Most people, assuming they aren’t hunt-n-peck style typers, are used to hitting keys with fingers starting with the outermost fingers (pinkies) and going in toward index fingers; meaning you’re far more likely to type “per” as “pre” than the other way around.
    Since “Superior” isn’t that common of a word, chances are that someone that didn’t know how to spell it would just choose a different word – especially due to the awkward phrasing.  Obviously not human, they FAIL the Turing test.
  2. “Wheoevr” vs. “Whoever”.  Roaming letter typo; moving a letter from the end of the compound word to the beginning.  How the HELL would a human screw that one up that badly?  It is a compound word consisting of two very common words.  If someone were that bad at spelling, chances are they would have misspelled “article” before “whoever”.  Turing test FAIL.
  3. “Srtighat” vs. “Straight”.  Okay, this one is just bizarre – one letter transposition (‘t’ <-> ‘r’) and one roaming letter (the ‘a’ needs to be moved to the third letter in).  If it weren’t for context in that comment, I’d probably never figure out what the hell they were trying to say.  To be fair, “srtaight” is actually a fairly typical typo, but who the hell would move the ‘a’ to make a ‘ghat’ sound at the end and somehow not misspell “sensible”?  Once more, FAIL.
  4. “Thgouht” vs. “Thought”.  Yet another roaming letter situation, but they roamed the wrong letter.  Someone capable of spelling ‘thought’ would NEVER move that ‘g’, as that’s a hard constant in that word once you move it.  “Thought” may be a word commonly misspelled, but definitely not by spelling it like that.  At least this comment didn’t use any other hard-to-spell words, but still an obvious bot.  FAIL.

Come on spammers, you can do better than that!

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