Tuesday, March 12, 2013

That Whole "Anonymous" Thing

A month ago, I wrote something which I now regret.

It was a post regarding those annoying Anonymous spam comments that bloggers sometimes receive on their blogs.  In all honesty, the post was nothing more than a lazy attempt at a blog post whilst feeling unequivocally uninspired.

But at the end of the post, I challenged anyone who wanted to comment, to do so anonymously.  And anyone who didn't would be forced to meet the wrath of ME RESPONDING IN ALL CAPS.  WHICH KINDA MAKES IT SEEM LIKE I AM YELLING, RIGHT?  I MEAN, DIDN'T THE VOICE THAT NARRATES THINGS FOR YOU IN YOUR HEAD CHANGE A BIT AND START YELLING ONCE I SWITCHED OVER TO ALL CAPS?  IS THE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD STILL YELLING?

There.  That's better.

Did the voice in your head switch back to normal talk?  Did he sigh, take a deep breath, and perhaps adjust his collar, as if he just came inside from a storm?

Anyway, the point of this wasn't to tell you about writing in all caps to the people who didn't respond anonymously.  It was to tell you that many people responded under the name "Anonymous," just like I commanded*.

*For no reason, whatsoever.

The thing is, after all of these Anonymous comments on my blog, many more showed up.  In the past few weeks, I have been getting dozens of actual Anonymous spammers on all of my posts.  My phone is constantly vibrating.

At first, I thought that maybe my faux defense for anonymous commenters (and my open invitation for more) had somehow attracted actual spammers, like my blog was some poor female wild animal in heat, emitting an unbearably enticing aroma that gave the wild anonymous commenters no other choice but to ravish it.

And then I thought about it more practically and realized that while it might not be that dramatic, in essence, I was right.  Somehow, with the dozens of Anonymous commenters that I allowed asked to come through, my poor, innocent blog had somehow been flagged as a safe haven for spammers to do their dirtiest.

I blame Google.

So now I have a new thing to worry about.  Not only do I have to juggle writing blog posts and (failing to) respond to all of your actual comments, I also have to manually delete the spam comments that get through the filter.

And all this has taken a back seat to real-world issues.  Like work.  And falling in love.

-Youngman Brown

P.S.  Yes, I'm an information tease.

P.P.S. Sorry that I forgot last time, but here's the answer to my fake go-to fun fact that you might remember from my Ice Breakers post.  For your recollection, here are the four go-to fun facts:
  1. I can solve a Rubix cube in two minutes.
  2. When I was eleven, I won a contest and illustrated a book about smoking cessation.
  3. I own a square inch of land in Texas.
  4. The singer Meatloaf said that I was the nicest boy he has ever met.
The fake one was #2.  I have no idea where I came up with that lie.  Nor do I know what kind of pictures an eleven-year-old would be able to come up with about the pain and frustration that is involved when one tries to quit smoking.

I can solve a Rubix cube in two minutes.  It might take me a little longer these days, because I haven't done it in a while.  But if you gave me 24-hours, I could teach you, too.

My parents own a square inch of land in Texas... so that was kind of a lie.  But I'm sure I'll inherit it.

And the singer Meatloaf sang the National Anthem at a Phillies game I was at when I was in grad school, and my best friend and I somehow got to meet him.  And he told us that we were the nicest boys he ever met.  He also gave me an autograph, which my sister has to this day.

P.P.P.S. You might see a decline in my posts in the next couple weeks, but don't worry: I am working on some stuff for the blog to send it in a new direction.

P.P.P.P.S. If you comment on this post anonymously, I will punish you.  I'm not one for threats, but just don't be surprised if my pinky ventures to the left of the "A" key before I start typing.

P.P.P.P.P.S. If you are a male blogger or know a dude that wants to participate in Dude Write, be sure to send them over to participate.  We've had a decline in entries recently (I am mostly to blame for this) and really want to continue doing it.  The new competition starts on Thursday night!


  1. Do this: go onto your account settings page and click where it says "approve comments-- sometimes". Then it will ask you how often. Click that you want to approve comments on anything older than 48 hours. This will cut your spam by 95%. I'm not kidding.

    good luck
    MOV (aka the facebook guru)

    1. What the...? Practical advice in a Comment!?! Maybe it's because I'm only concerned with tomfoolery on my blog.

  2. Dammit, I thought the Rubix Cube one might be a double bluff! We need proof though. Upload a YouTube video of yourself solving a cube, whilst wearing a funny hat. The hat is essential.

  3. I once talked about spam in a post and within weeks I was getting a TON of spam comments. And then there was the horrible atrosity of Blogger deleting my blog because they "made a mistake". Yeah, I'm holding on to that grudge!

  4. Oh no!! You accidentally opened the Annoymous Blogger Comment porthole!!! I think the only way to close it is with the sacrifice of small forest creature - preferably a squirrel. Those suckers creep me out.

    Hey, if I wear my strap on penis, would I qualify for Dude Writes??? No? What if I wore the strap on and attempted to grow a mustache??

  5. Hi Guy! I really enjoy the spam comments because they make me feel like lots of people in other countries are big fans of me and my penis enlargement subscription

  6. I've suddenly experienced an uptick in spam comments. I didn't used to allow Anonymous comments so maybe that's the reason. It is super annoying.

  7. Sorry, but I'm smiling a little bit at your predicament - I am a cruel person. And yes, I totally shouted to myself when you were typing in caps!


  9. Meatloaf also told me I'm the nicest boy he's ever met. He says that to everybody.


  10. The anon posts are all fun and games until the real sp@##3rz show up. That was one of my favorite all-time posts! Enjoy the fall :-)

  11. Don't change it too much... I like your blog and change makes me nervous. What if it doesn't make me laugh anymore?

  12. I was getting a crap load of anonymous spam comments as well, I ended up not allowing anonymous comments. If the e-mails would just say whether or not it let the comment through so I didn't have to check every one, I would have probably left them. But I hardly ever got any real anonymous comments anyways so I figured no loss.

  13. I have had a lot of spam in the last couple of months. I get maybe 15-20 a day. Very few of them actually make it through, but one slips by every now and then.

  14. TEACH ME!!! sorry there I got overly excited about the rubiks cube,

    " I would do anything for love but I wont do that..." seriously...meatloaf? I am so jealous right now. OK how do I start with the rubiks cube, I nearly make it now..some pro tips maybe? Set it on fire?

  15. Ah yes, the anonymous spammers, bless their little withered hearts. I'm not entirely sure of the point to their filling blogs with comments, I'm 100% certain no one ever clicks on their links.

  16. The anonymous comments bum me out, because I get all excited when I get an email from my blog. When I see it's anonymous, I don't want to read it, but then I think, what if it is from someone who was merely commenting anonymously?? But it never is, just spammers. Dang it.

    Thank God you gave us the answers!! I want to learn the secret of the Rubix cube, but I highly doubt you would not be able to teach me, cause I'm pretty sure my brain does not have the required RAM for such things :)

    1. It's the same with me...but there was one time when an anonymous comment really was someone commenting anonymously...so now I check every single one just in case...I don't get many comments so it's not as if I've got a lot of email to check! x

  17. I think the spam comments are increasing all around. During the past two months, the amount of spam coming in to my blog has drastically increased. I get about 15 anonymous comments a day. I found that the spam comments occur on the posts that contain work or job related material (the 2 posts I get the most spam on ar "X is for Xeroxing Your Buttox" and "J is for Job Interview").

    H'anyway, sorry I haven't been active on DudeWrite. I have this stupid project for work that I have to take home and work on. It'll be done next week, so I'll get back to blogging my silly little blog posts.

  18. Do you have a picture with you and Meatloaf? Because it feels like there's a bigger story there.
    I have one post from a year and a half ago that seems to get all my Anonymous "check out my link" comments. It's infuriating.

  19. Dude, it's not just you. Google has absolutely sucked at filtering out Spam lately. In fact, it's so bad that we just disabled all Anonymous comments entirely. We were getting sick of having to manually delete upwards of 5 Spam comments PER DAY. I mean, really Google, how hard is it to detect that "Anonymous sez: great article friend you want to make your penis big click here NOW" is a Spam comment?


When you comment, I vibrate.