Saturday, October 24, 2009

Taxpayer Supported SPAM

Spam is the abuse of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. While the most widely recognized form of spam is e-mail spam, the term is applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam,Usenet newsgroup spam, Web search engine spam, spam in blogs, wiki spam, online classified ads spam, mobile phone messaging spam, Internet forum spam, junk fax transmissions, social networking spam, and file sharing network spam. - Wikipedia.

Spam in blogs (also called simply blog spam or comment spam) is a form of spamdexing. It is done by automatically posting random comments or promoting commercial services to, wikis, guestbooks, or other publicly accessible online discussion boards. Any web application that accepts and displays hyperlinks submitted by visitors may be a target.
Adding links that point to the spammer's web site artificially increases the site's search engine ranking. An increased ranking often results in the spammer's commercial site being listed ahead of other sites for certain searches, increasing the number of potential visitors and paying customers.- Wikipedia

On October 23rd I visited my blog to find a new comment to the most recent post I made. As a blogger I love when people comment. Fellow blogger Jack put it best in a recent post "It would be great to get a lot of comments on every post....I like comments, but I don't blog for them...it is not my central focus." I enjoy blogging but don't aim for comments myself either. I blog what is on my mind and sometimes to let off a little steam (like when I run into incompentance of various natures).

So I clicked on the "comment link" to the post and eagerly awaited Rogers Internet to deliver to deliver my comment content. Sadly I was dissapointed, to find a SPAM entry. Now I don't get many SPAM entries (in fact I can barely remember the last one) but sadly a SPAM entry has to be one of the most frustratrating things that a blogger can run accross in his/her comment section.

But this time it was even worse. I quickly read the comment from "Jordan" who started off noting that his comment was directly toward the post about my dining experience at Fran's in Toronto. He then goest to ramble on about VIVAnext for the rest of his comment and mentioning the VIVAnext website and VIVAnext's current contest for an ipod Nano. Not only was I being SPAMmed but I was being SPAMmed by a taxpayer payed employee of the Region of York whose job is to market the yet to put a shovel in the ground VIVAnext program.

Apparently part of Jordan's job during a workday is to runaround the blogosphere and post unsolicited SPAM comments about VIVAnext's blog and website address. This is proven considering that this blog post points out that Jordan has posted comments to that blog's post and another blog's posting. Perhaps this is done so VIVAnext will have more links to it's website for search engine purposes (currently listed 1st for the website and 2nd for the blog on Google) or just to attract more visitors.

I wonder what will happen if I were to visit the VIVAnext blog and post a comment beginning with "while this isn’t a comment directly related to the recent blog posting.." and then advertise my blog or my company's services whether it would get through the moderators there. I happen to think that, hypocritically (which VIVA is well known for), they would probably delete my SPAM post and yet "Jordan" and others would continue on with their SPAMing ways. The worst part of all this, you and I the Region of York Taxpayers and/or VIVA Transit riders are paying for all this. And for this YRT/VIVA will no doubt raise transit fares again just like they have for the past three consecutive years.

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