Spam Followers, they are truly a major pet peeve of mine. In a word, I HATE them.
As of a couple days ago, I have two. Neither has commented on anything I’ve posted or re-blogged.
Side Note: To be clear, I re-blog only posts that I personally think deserve to be as widely shared as possible. They can be about causes I feel strongly about, or just find interesting and/or funny. (Though there are also many other posts I would love to re-blog, but if I’m don’t restrain myself this would soon cease to even be my blog!) Also, I always do my best to obtain permission from the original poster, as well as add my own comments to ensure it is very clear that every piece I re-blog is NOT my work.
Now, back to my pet peeve about Spam Followers. After the first one “joined” my list of Followers just a few weeks after I started this blog, I followed his link back to the source and discover he is part of a Pyramid scheme selling a “miracle health drink.” Now in my country, Canada, this is illegal, so imagine my surprise after searching the Support Pages for WordPress to find out that I can do NOTHING to get rid of this modern day snake oil salesman.
As he hasn’t even bothered to post a single word on my blog, or respond to my personal request that he stop following me, I can’t even find a way to mark him as Spam. The truly sad part with this young fellow – IF what his lengthy bio states is true – is that he’s managed to rake in a good number of followers actually thanking him for following their blogs. I actually read a few dozen of the replies, which made me both angry and sad.
Angry because he obviously used some kind of keywords spamming software to seek out and target bloggers like me. Bloggers with serious, debilitating and life long diseases and other medical conditions, so he could prey on them. I researched his so-called miracle product and in minutes was able to find plenty of medical articles proving the claims his site makes are sheer bogus.
Spammers like this don’t even bother to make the effort of seeking their prey and potential victims themselves. No, they use spam bot software that targets the vulnerable. When you are always sick and there is no known cure for whatever ails you, there are low times when you are feeling so low, desperate and discouraged, that it is all too easy to latch onto to anyone or anything, that promises to help.
And that’s what makes me sad. Sad for those that in a moment of naiveté or vulnerability, they actually believe the people behind such spam actually cared enough to make a human connection. Sad that said people are so focussed on making money, they don’t stop to think of those they might be hurting.
It’s offensive, hurtful and in a very real sense, abusive, to target people who are sick and vulnerable with false hopes all so you can make some money. And here’s a newsflash, being chronically ill is bloody expensive! Yet these types of spammers don’t give a damn if they manage to take money from one the already poorest demographics there is. (Generally speaking.)
My most recent Spam Follower seems to have use the same route as the first did – Spam Bot Seeking Keywords software. In his case, it appears he’s pushing his fitness routine. I haven’t made any attempt to contact this one, but will say that on his site he actually appears to talk to people. Whether that’s his customers only or not, I couldn’t say.
So, if they can Follow my blog with impunity, I see no reason I can’t can’t name them in my post and expose them for the cowards they truly are!
The first one, whom I call the Modern Day Snake Oil Salesman, is qkuafman and his blog is a WordPress one. I find his to be the more offensive of the two simply because of all the posts on his “About” page from so many people thanking him for following their blog and not a single reply from him.
The second one is called fitnesfreak. I had to Google this one as if he does have a WordPress blog, I can’t find it. I will say his business appears to be legit. To be honest, I didn’t look too deeply into his.
And that, folks, is one of my personal Pet Peeves!