Thursday, July 21, 2005

Why No More Comments?

Well, there's an chance that some of you may notice that I have disabled the ability to post anonymous comments to my blog entries, and I wanted to take a moment to explain.

First, let me be clear about one thing: I do not want your personal information. Frankly, I don't care who you are, and all things considered, I would just as soon let you post anonymously to your heart's content. I do not have this blog to spam people with penis enlargement e-mails, to boost anyone's Google ratings, to collect a nice fee for ads, or any other ulterior motive other than to convey a brief sense of what goes on in my head. Hopefully you have noticed that there are no ads and, for the record, will NEVER be any ads on this blog, no matter how popular it may get.

Unfortunately, though, it was the recent victim of link spam, otherwise known as blog spam or comment spam. Basically, someone has set up Web-bots to automatically post massive amounts of crap.

What kind of crap? Well, when I got home tonight, I noticed that there were 35 new comments in my latest blog entry. All of them were either white supremacist trash, solicitations to get to know Jesus, or other such crap. Obviously, if anyone read some of these comments before I was able to delete them, I apologize and assure you that it was most definitely without my consent and it won't happen again. Some of them had Web site links embedded, designed to boost crap Web site ratings on Google. I deleted them all, of course, and changed the settings on this blog so that only "members" of the blog can post comments. A member is someone I have manually added to be able to comment, so if anyone particularly wants to be able to post comments, e-mail me and let me know. (If you don't know my e-mail address, then sorry, but I don't know you well enough to allow you to post comments.)

If you're not familiar with the seedier side of the Internet, you may be asking yourself at this point why someone would do something like this. Though there are many answers, the vast majority of people who do this kind of thing are the type of people I call "schoolyard bullies." They're the people who make other people's lives miserable for no other reason than the fact that they can. They aren't able to make any positive contribution to the world, so in a pathetic attempt to feel important, they try to destroy everything to bring it down to their level. Obviously, it doesn't work and only makes them look sad and foolish, but on an Internet where people can—and should be able to—stay anonymous, it's just a way that these worthless people get their cheap thrills.

I guess in a weird kind of way, I should be happy. After all, until now, my blog has been just an anonymous corner of the Internet that not many people knew or cared about. Now, apparently, it has attained a high enough status on the public radar to be worthy of vandalization. In a way, this incident makes it clear that my blog is now more popular than just one of the billions of throwaway places that litter the 'Net. Of course, it makes me sad that there are schoolyard bullies in the world and that we have to take away their toys, but not only will I live and be happy in spite of it, I'll keep posting so that everyone else can know the ramblings of a tired mind.

The funny thing is that though I don't have a specific name ("Anonymous Coward" will do just fine, I think), I have an idea who may have pointed the blog spam bots to my blog. And to that person out there, wheverever you may be, I'd just like to say that I'm glad you cared enough to stop by, and I hope you enjoy my future posts! :-)

Update: Hey, I was right about my assessment in the last paragraph. My secret admirer posted a reply and confessed. The conversation since has been rather amusing to me; you should check it out if you have a few minutes to waste.


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