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Off Topic: Zombies and Spam?

By CharlieSpencer ·
Tags: Off Topic
Scenario: a member (usually new) replies to a long-inactive post or question, apparently for the sole purpose of advertising his or her company's services.

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-10879-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=228853

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-7343-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=305643

http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=267157&messageID=3294396

Note the dates of the original posts, the membership date, and the apparent disconnect between his listed location and the time of his posts. (Those times do match up nicely with daytime hours in the location of the Chinese company he links to.) Note the poster's focus on a single topic; I've linked to his entire body of work here. Spam?

His responses are on topic for the discussions he responds to, and (so far) he hasn't started an unsolicited thread. He isn't pasting the same text repeatedly, varying the responses slightly to fit the discussion. Not spam?

Are the sample posts spam? Why or why not?

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If it

by GSG In reply to Off Topic: Zombies and Sp ...

Looks like Spam, Smells like Spam, and tastes like Spam, then it's Spam.

I'd say this is Spam because of the very reasons you stated:
1) All Zombie Posts
2) New account
3) All posts generally the same subject
4) Linking to the same site

and so on. It also makes me wonder if you'll pick up some malware or other STD (surfing transmitted disease) if you click on his link.

I'll bring the rope, if someone else will bring the gallows.

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Not SPAM - but obviously advertising

by rgautier In reply to Off Topic: Zombies and Sp ...

I don't believe you should classify these postings as spam. While it 'feels like' spam, it misses out on some very specific aspects of spam that make it unwanted and insidious.

1. unsolicited - no, these comments are not unsolicited. They are in response to a question or post that is still open for comment on a discussion board.

2. anonymous or untraceable to source - The poster had to create an account to make the comments, and we can not blindly assume that the account is only used for the purpose of advertising (and even if it is, that is not expressly forbidden in this forum). Everyone posts for their own self-interest - some of us more indirectly than others. We can only assume that the sign-up/account information is valid unless we check.

3. off-topic - What pisses people off even more than the first two is this one - and all of these postings are on-topic, and do not stray into green-card-lottery territory.

4. repetitive and insipid - Each posting was made once to each forum post, and not repeated over and over (from one or multiple accounts). It was done corteously, with text addressing the topic at hand.

So, in this case, I think that someone at some point may find the posts useful and on-topic and that the user was merely acting in his own self-interest, albeit perhaps with an undisclosed motive. They made no effort to HIDE their motive, either.

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Oops

by Ed Woychowsky In reply to Off Topic: Zombies and Sp ...

I opened thread this thinking that SPAM could be used as a brain substitute. Imagine my surprise when I discovered my mistake. There goes my zombie army, now I need to put off my plans for world conquest, again!

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