Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Learning Bots


At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.😉

Occasionally, I get random comments on this blog for really old posts. Usually they're spam. They have a link to some weird website, and the comment is nonsensical. I delete these, of course.

(I do occasionally get real comments on old posts. Those I let go through.)

But lately, I've been getting a bunch of clearly spam comments (the English is so bad), but there's no random link on them. And they're all oddly complimentary:
I was reading some of your content on this site and I believe this internet site is really instructive! Retain posting. 
Or:
I do consider all of the concepts you have offered for your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work.
Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for novices. May just you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
Thank you for the post.
And this got me wondering...

What if the spam bots are actually reading that which they are posting comments to? What if they started critiquing what they read? 

21 comments:

  1. Yeah, I've wondered where these come from and what the purpose is, since it's not about selling something. Maybe one of the bots might break its programming and go rogue, leaving comments with preposterous insults. Or even infect your blog and hold it to ransom and an international hunt was mounted to stop it. Hmm, this could get exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I hope they have better grammar than some of the bot comments I've seen on my blog :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just think...don't they have something better to do??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're bots. They do nothing but wander the internet.

      Delete
  4. I think they'd critique just as well as they speak English.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm getting many of those, too (and, in fact, I had already written a post on it, so when it appears, please don't think I'm plagiarizing - I have it at the ready for a day when I don't feel like writing.) Anyway...I hadn't thought of that and it is a creepy thought. What if the bots don't like me and decide to do something about it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that takes the idea in a whole 'nother direction...

      Delete
  6. I also get spammy comments. I've set up my blog so that comments older than 14 days go to moderation. And then I get notified and I delete and close comments on that post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have mine set to 30 days, but same idea. Yeah, those comments got caught by that. It's funny as they keep hitting the same blog post from several years ago.

      Delete
  7. Grammar check-bots. :D I have had a few spam comments as well. All positive, all poorly worded.

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  8. Then maybe they are learning something! I blocked them from this blog but I have noticed that I am getting just a few on the Furbabe blog......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How do you block them? I have attempted to do so, but they pop up from time to time. Luckily, usually on the older posts where comment moderation is enabled.

      Delete
  9. A futuristic scenario. I am sure the technology exists. We see that in Gmail, where we get suggested one-line replies, after the algorithm figures out questions in the sender's email.

    If we get such bot-triggered comments, it will be hard for us to figure out if it's sent by bot or not. Because the critique might look quite genuine. And if the comment has a link to virus-infected websites, we might get tempted to click (thinking the comment is from a genuine source), and we might have unpleasant consequences, like the computer getting infected. Doesn't look like a rosy scenario, at least from what I can understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My point here was that these comments don't have the requisite website attached. I could tell that a comment was spam because of the random website. Why random bot comment when a website isn't attached?

      Delete
  10. What a strange world. Interesting concepts, all. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I get comments like that too on all 3 of my blogs...always on old posts, after the fact. I've never really given them much thought. I suspect they're trying to use words that will make it seem real. I don't think they're reading, but like a spam filter probably have key words they pick up on? Also if people have the settings such that they get an email when they have a post, they'll only a portion and if it starts out complimentary, changes are pretty good the person will click approve, right there in their email without reading the rest of the comment to know it's garbage they've just added to their blog.

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    Replies
    1. I get that part. I wonder why these comments have no links on them. The whole reason to spam comments is to get links to websites to make them rank higher in search.

      Delete

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