How Stuff Works: MeFi Spam March 19, 2012 9:46 AM   Subscribe

How's the bad mojo work in this deleted post?

I mean, outside of the fact that it's a generally shitty post, it's got all the Hallmarks of spam -- token contributions before posting, linked site with "SEO" right in it, profile linking to a online pharmacy website, vehement deletion reason -- but I don't get how the actual spam part of it is supposed to work.
posted by griphus to MetaFilter-Related at 9:46 AM (45 comments total)

...and, also, apparently I'm a subliminal shill for the Hallmark corporation.
posted by griphus at 9:48 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


My theory is that it's a test post to see how many hits they get before a post goes away. They control the URL and can see the metrics for it, and they threw up a non-spammy-looking bit of content to try to test it out.

(It's conceivable that the OP is just badly confused and actually not trying anything nefarious, but...)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:49 AM on March 19, 2012


poke around a little and you'll find a link to generic boyfriends and husbands, too
posted by pyramid termite at 9:50 AM on March 19, 2012


Arguably, google would give the domain credit for the reputation effect of being linked by a well-ranked site like Metafilter. So that could be the motive.

But honestly, I think it's just a really shitty token effort without any clear vector. I can't even find a specific connection with duder and the site linked, though the intentional anonymity of the whois stuff is possibly part of the problem there.

I feel like this is some sort of perfect storm of naive, ineffectual spammery/sketchy stuff; the guy has been doing an exemplary job of setting off red flags without actually quite achieving anything concrete spam-wise, so by our usual playbook we're actually in Watch Very Closely territory rather than slam-dunk bannination (we usually wait for the actual spam to happen). But this is one of those weird situations that really tests the practical limits of that approach, because the plausible path to "it was all a misunderstanding" is a really narrow and unlikely one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:52 AM on March 19, 2012


How did duder decide to add These Premises Are Alarmed as a contact? That's the real mystery.

That and the ghost in the old barn, I mean.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:59 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


is it good or bad that I clicked on it a few too many times while furiously trying to flag it ? (have to open the mefi post, can't flag from the front page, mistakenly added it to favorites etc)
posted by k5.user at 10:04 AM on March 19, 2012


The whole thing is sort of weird. A lot of times we don't even know the angle exactly, just know something is spammy and Not Right for MetaFilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I so badly want to point and laugh at a certain comment, but I'm holding back for the same reason the mods aren't banning yet.
posted by charred husk at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2012


These Premises Are Alarmed is actually Old Man Carruthers, who runs SEOwhatnot.biz in a cheap rubber mask. johnstendicom is his nephew, and they were in cahoots to smuggle a boatload of traffic out of MeFi. They tried to use the ghost to scare off the mods, but it turned out to just be a movie projector, a bedsheet and a reel-to-reel for the ghost noises.

The projectionist was an actual ghost, however.
posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on March 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


Old Man Carruthers?! He's the proprietor of the abandoned amusement park! Good work, here's a griphy snack!
posted by shakespeherian at 10:16 AM on March 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


Hey, anybody know where, uh, a friend can score some generic prescriptions online? Preferably from a scummy scammer, thnx.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:18 AM on March 19, 2012


He would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:22 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


There's a couple of sketchy guys who set up a botnet controller under the old Ferris wheel, they might know. If not them, then ask the trojan coders living in the Tilt-O-Whirl.

Also this "griphy snack" is clearly an aspirin with the "A" and the "S" scraped off.
posted by griphus at 10:27 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


i expect to see some sensible fun from johnstendicom
posted by Hoopo at 10:28 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hoopo: "i expect to see some sensible fun from johnstendico"

... whereas griphus restrains himself not.
posted by charred husk at 10:31 AM on March 19, 2012


he's in a hurry but parses thread to stay on topic
posted by Meatbomb at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2012


Also this "griphy snack" is clearly an aspirin with the "A" and the "S" scraped off.

Like, zoinks.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those of us who like watching car accidents: Can someone explain what happened? The link has been changed to www.example.com.
posted by Melismata at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2012


I know where you can get some tiger penis: just climb into a male tiger's cage and act like a female tiger in estrus.

But if you need a close encounter of the chicken kind, there's this.
posted by pracowity at 10:33 AM on March 19, 2012


These Premises Are Alarmed is actually Old Man Carruthers, who runs SEOwhatnot.biz in a cheap rubber mask.

Because I can't link to this enough.
posted by gauche at 10:34 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was a link to a dumb email-exchange type joke about installing boyfriend/husband software, hosted as a standalone text file on a totally sketchy SEO services site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 AM on March 19, 2012


(It's conceivable that the OP is just badly confused and actually not trying anything nefarious, but...)

I would have thought so too, at first glance, but then I clicked on the OP's profile and clicked on his "website". Wow. Just wow.
posted by karathrace at 10:37 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, um, has the link/profile been scrubbed clean? Because I see nothing...
posted by schmod at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2012


installing boyfriend/husband software

lol
posted by mullacc at 10:39 AM on March 19, 2012


but then I clicked on the OP's profile and clicked on his "website". Wow. Just wow.

Holy shit, I am gobsmacked that with this many tells he is still non-banned. I mean, come on.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's interesting is that he's made a few comments on other posts since making that FPP. He's sticking around, not stopping at 3.
posted by jbickers at 10:47 AM on March 19, 2012


Ya gotta give it to the kid - he's got gumption!
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on March 19, 2012


(He contracted it when he stepped on a rusty nail in the Hall of Mirrors.)
posted by griphus at 10:50 AM on March 19, 2012


That boyfriend software thing is actually pretty funny, I remember seeing it make the rounds about 10 years ago or so.
posted by Melismata at 10:53 AM on March 19, 2012


Because the angle is so weird on this one, we're sort of in the position of watching to see what happens next. There's really no problem with waiting until someone does something that is unequivocally bannable instead of "Well you look sort of shifty" pre-emptive stuff. With the amount that people tend to argue over bannings, even if they're totally righteous, we're usually happier making sure we know exactly what's up, even if this means waiting for an "Okay now we've got you" situation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:56 AM on March 19, 2012


How did duder decide to add These Premises Are Alarmed as a contact? That's the real mystery.

Very weird. I wouldn't have even noticed if not for this thread. Now I'm sad that I hardly have any contacts, and they're probably half spammers anyway.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 11:25 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


how do you check for malware?
posted by desjardins at 11:27 AM on March 19, 2012


how do you check for malware?

the same way you check for people on the metro wanting to stab you with needles. You wait till they do it, then you bust 'em with an 'Aha!'. But by that time you already have the hep or malware.
posted by karathrace at 11:36 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mods, can we get 'spammer' added as an option on the Add a Contact form?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:50 AM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


how do you check for malware?

That's Mrs. Reynold's job.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:06 PM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I totally need to see the Lovecraft Scooby Doo featuring Harlan Ellison. Yes, that is an actual thing. C'mon Netflix!
posted by Mister_A at 1:16 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also this "griphy snack" is clearly an aspirin with the "A" and the "S" scraped off.

I must now refer to you as Agedor Spartacus forever and ever.
posted by elizardbits at 1:36 PM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Because I can't link to this enough.

Gauche, did you somehow know that I spent this week watching all seven seasons of Peep Show? Can't get enough Mitchell and Webb/Mark and Jez.

posted by bquarters at 2:02 PM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Holy shit, I am gobsmacked that with this many tells he is still non-banned. I mean, come on.

Well, Meatbomb, you are a mod aren't you...so get on that.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:04 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, I sent "this doesn't seem right!"mail about that user last week when he had a different username.
posted by KathrynT at 2:40 PM on March 19, 2012


@horse_ebooks has been reading threads about him on the Blue and just wanted to join the conversation. I'll never understand the community standards of this place...
posted by codacorolla at 7:49 PM on March 19, 2012


Hi, I just wanted to come in and apologize to the mods for being an idiot.

They know what I did.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:29 PM on March 19, 2012


All is forgiven!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:44 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can do anything at examplecom. Anything at all. The only limit is yourself.

Also: johnstendicom totally anagrams out to 'Condiment Josh.' It was cortex, in the study, with a gravy boat full of Hollandaise.
posted by mintcake! at 10:05 PM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a wonderfully sarcastic and cutting post all ready to go on that thread when cortex pulled the bloody rug out from under me. I knew it was a race against time but man, he was fast.
posted by Decani at 11:06 AM on March 20, 2012


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