Friday, January 29, 2010

Trust, but Verify

It all started about a month and a half ago, when the following appeared in the comment section:

I find your blog interesting. I look forward to reading it some more.

That was left by anonymous. I don't know why anonymous couldn't use his or her own name, or use a fake name. After all, he or she was paying me a compliment. It wasn't the most imaginative comment, but that's all right. I'll take a kind word any way I can get it. This comment appeared a few more times over a course of a week. Then, one day, a new comment appeared:

Me like your blog. Me want to read more.

Was Tonto a fan? Tarzan, perhaps? About a week later, the syntax improved. There was, however, a suggestion:

I like your blog. How about more pictures?

More pictures? That would assume I had pictures in the first place. "How about pictures?" would have been more accurate. Anyway, whoever anonymous was, he or she didn't hold the absence of pictures against me:

Am really interested in your blog. Keep writing on similar topics

: )

Always nice to receive encouragement. It's not always nice to get utterly confused:

Use the track reply four button operating system. Engineering prototypes plus hard drive replacement procedures. Proceed at ultimate capacity.

I chose not to proceed at ultimate capacity. Anonymous ultimately did:

Anonymous didn't just stop there, for a week later:

No celebrity names attached. Guess they're on the bashful side.

It was obvious the spammers had finally discovered me. And horney spammers at that. Well, folks, I hate to do it, but the time has finally come to turn on the word verification thingee. About half of those who follow this blog already have these devices and know how they work. You get a nonsense word like this:


Which you then have to copy in a long rectangular box, before your comment will be accepted. The idea being that a computer is sending the spam, and thus incapable of copying a nonsense word. I hope so.

But first I'd like to conduct a little test. Those of you who aren't spammers may stop reading. This test is not for you.

Now, spammers, I'm going to give you two nonsense words. Actually, they're not nonsense words at all, they're really scrambled up words, like that one puzzle on the comic pages. You're task, spammers, is to unscramble these words:



  1. I'm no spammer, Kirk, but I sure know FUCK YOU when I see it, even scrambled. Well said! I'd caught those comments from time to time on your blog and also thought "WTF?" Big time now with word verification ~ soon yours will be a blog of note. To be very straight with you that whole "Anonymous" thing has always creeped me out a little. If we're going to converse, then show yourself, at least a little, dammit.

    So, your first (I think) WV = addibus. I did addibus to your followers some time ago.

  2. I thought it was yuck foo! Oh well.

    WV - lumic, as in anonymouses are just lumics/

  3. @ The Badger ~ Still fighting that dyslexia, eh, Badge? Yay! Another vote for eliminating the Anonymice.

    WV = holess. Using WV on your blog will give you a holess trouble from spammers, Kirk.

  4. Kirk, I'm wary of anyone who travels under the name, anonymous.

    When I was a little girl - actually a girl of fourteen - my mother bought me an anthology of poetry edited by some chap called Louis Untermeyer for my birthday.

    I loved this book, the poems, the illustrations. In those days I wanted to be a poet. I was most impressed by a particular poet who wrote under the name anonymous'.

    He - I assumed it was a he - had written so many poems, in so many different styles, I thought he must be a genius.

    I can't remember which of my sisters or brothers finally educated me on the true meaning of the word.

    Now in the blogosphere, I'm careful not to respond to anyone whose tracks I cannot trace back to a blog.

    I want to believe there is an identity of sorts behind the name. Anonymous holds no such identity as far as I can see.

    I'm glad you've sorted out this problem.

  5. Sorry it took me so long to respond to these comments, folks.

    @Limes--Now, Les, I said the spammers were the only ones that were supposed to take that test. You disobeyed my instructions. Oh, well, I'll let it go this time...On a more serious note, I should have flicked on the word verification soon as those comments started to appear. Instead, I added wisecracks after them. I think some spam computer was testing the waters before taking full advantage of the comment section.

    @Once known as The Badger--I'm not eating at that Chinese restaurant!

    @Elisabeth--I was hoping all those comments were coming from the noted writer Joe Klein (author of Primary Colors, a satire of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. It was published anonymously)

  6. @Limes--I must have skipped over your WV definition the first time. Funny

  7. That last one was just me messing with you :)

  8. Anony Mouse says: "Me like your blog, two!"

    WV - mootoe = what a cow says when she stubs her mittle toey!

  9. @Adam--If you're the same Adam I first met some 40 years ago, at least I know you read my blog!

    @Badger--Is that character registered with Disney?

    @Chinaman--I thought Google pulled out of your country.


In order to keep the hucksters, humbugs, scoundrels, psychos, morons, and last but not least, artificial intelligentsia at bay, I have decided to turn on comment moderation. On the plus side, I've gotten rid of the word verification.