Thursday, November 09, 2006

From Russia with Spam

A few interesting facts on the ESP message boards (well, I find them interesting, anyway).

Of the hundreds of user requests we receive in any given period, approximately 95% of them are spam accounts.

Of these accounts, around 40% use Russian e-mail addresses, 20% use German addresses, and I do believe that that close to 100% are fake e-mail accounts.

Although about 75% of these are actual spam e-mails, 25% seem to be about nothing in particular. People spamming just for the sake of it...?

And all this spam is wasted spam. These days, you can't post on the ESP boards until you're approved, and due to the rash of users created called TexasHoldEm or the like, your account can't even be seen by other users until an administrator approves it.

Since I do most of the approving, I am pretty much the only person who gets hit with ads for online poker, the once-a-month recurring user named JohnTravolta777, and users with German e-mail addresses who create accounts for the sole purpose of proclaiming joy over the U.S. election results. Odd.

With the new enhancements we have in place, it's quite easy to sift through and delete users as necessary, so it doesn't cause me any grief, if this is the spammers' purpose. Sorry spammers.

But I do know that it affects the new users, the real users, the ones who want to discuss books or horror movies. Nowadays, once you create an account, you have to wait for an administrator to approve it, and if you choose a name like, say, JohnTravolta777, well, you're probably going to be mistaken for spam, and get deleted.

So to all the real JohnTravolta777s of the world, I do apologize if your account ends up in the virtual trash can...


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