Impostors and phonies getting as bad as spammers
The community server panel , like all mainstream blog engines, has a feature that allows you to approve comments. You can create word lists to automatically filter comments in an effort to eliminate spam. You can search your comments marked spam and delete them. The major problem though is that the spam feature shows the results in a gridview which provides paging. But there is no 'Delete all Spam comments' or at least, there's not one I know of (if there is, I'd be mighty grateful to hear about it). Each time I've tried to clear out all of my spam comments, they accumulate faster than I can delete them. Since I don't have access to the source tables, I can't just delete all of them at once. Dealing with spam has been one of the most cumbersome aspects of being a blogger.
Until recently that is. In the past few weeks, I've been deluged with comments of a few different sorts but all of which appear to be part of a campaign to cause someone some serious problems. I've had a few comments where people attacked me fairly vigorously, only to find out that they weren't from the people they purported to be from. I've had a ton of comments that were somewhat unrelated to anything being discussed which really laid into people. There were comments, which appear to have been Me, agreeing with the comments being posted. In so doing, some of the people who's names were used contacted me and informed me that they were not the author of the comments, that someone is pretending to be them. Then I was told that the comments were in fact from at least one of the people and that they got cold feet and realized they didn't want to fight the battle they picked.
It got so bad that one person actually wrote me and said essentially that The comments there weren't from me. If I do post comments here, I'll write you an email and confirm that it was really me. If you care about the integrity of your comments, you'll delete them. Then within a few hours I got several emails from the same person, telling me off, calling me all sorts of names and unquestionably trying to provoke a fight. The tone was completely belligerent and 180 degrees away from the earlier email they sent. To put it in perspective, imagine getting some hostile comments from someone you've had some trouble with in the past but who you had pretty much forgotten about and had no problem with currently (and for the record, someone you no longer foster any animus toward and would just prefer to peacefully move on from). Imagine then that they contacted you via email and told you that the comments weren't authentic and were the result of someone pretending to be them. Imagine then that a few hours later, they wrote you back (after you took down the comments in question, essentially complying with their request) telling you off, insulting you, your friends and a few family members. Knowing that the person had suffered a horrific tragedy recently, you just assumed they flipped out and you decided to ignore the latter emails, even though they would otherwise warrant a response. Then you get a few more emails, each getting increasingly provocative. Then a few of the person's friends post comments on your blog getting all over your case (which was the same pattern that has happened before). Then you see a few more comments that are clearly fakes from the same people. I'm not sure what's going on but I suspect it's one of the following:
- The person in question never wrote the comments. When they saw them, the tried to clear them up. The person who's attacking them has access to their personal email account and then sends out a few emails trying to provoke a fight.
- The person in question wrote some of the comments. When they saw the fakes, they tried to clear it up. Afterward, they regretted extending the pleasantries and decided to make it clear that things are not ok
I have a strong suspicion that it's the former, I just have a feeling. Since my strong guess is that their email account has been breached by someone who clearly doesn't like them, I figured I'd post this. This way they can take the hint , change their password and start keeping an eye on things, without me having to write them an email which would tip the person off. On the other hand, if their email is breached, it's highly likely the person who's breached it is reading this.
Every now and then I start to feel old and long to be back in high school. But then I see crap like this and how lame it is and every bit of nostalgia just dries right up.