I know I will probably come off as an old timer when I say this, but spambots used to be better back in the day. It used to be that you would get spammed by Nigerian princes in need of a loan, or by multi-colored eggs offering instant solutions for losing weight, but these days it’s a mess. Spambots are getting stranger, more obtuse, and downright mean.
It all started a few days ago. I was minding my own business, tweeting to my friends and colleagues about bean dip and the fact that Deadmau5′s cat has a verified Twitter account, when I got a notification that I had gotten a new follower. New followers are to me what I’m sure Santa Claus is for small children, so needless to say I eagerly checked out their user profiles to learn more.
This is what I found:
What was most troubling about my new follower was that I had no idea what she was talking about. Her profile description had a vaguely suggestive tone, which might make some people click on her ominous looking link, but there was a bit too much malice peppered on her words for my taste, a big turn off when it comes to curiosity clicks. I was however intrigued enough to do some research on her profile description, and found that she’s quoting self-proclaimed “Queen of the Internet” and Myspace junkie Jeffree Star. It’s not a particularly witty or catchy tune, but it does pack enough expletives to keep your attention for it’s four minutes and forty second duration, which I suppose makes it quote-worthy. Finding this answer only brought up more questions for me. Is she quoting the lyrics ironically, with the goal of creating greater awareness for sexism perpetrated by Myspace power users against Fembots? Do the letters form a secret code that point observant users in the direction of a free iPad? Is there even such a thing as a Myspace power user? The best answer I could come up with is that Jeffree Star is the secret mastermind behind a growing cult of ultra-dedicated spambots, with the eventual goal of driving greater internet traffic to his subpar music through the power of sheer confusion. I know it’s what drove me to discover him.
The most troubling thing was that miss BelvaX7772 was only the beginning of my Spambot adventure. Shortly afterwards I was greeted by this enigma:
Truly a mysterious profile, and I must admit, I wanted to click on this goog.gl link far more than Belva’s. I did some background research into this one as well, and it’s taken from an account actually named “Love Ogre“. It’s one of the strangest concepts for a Twitter profile I’ve ever seen. Maybe in our progressive, post-Shrek world we are ready to get relationship advice from a fairy tale monster, but I’m a little behind the curve for that trend. Ogres should be relegated to role playing games and norse children’s nightmares, and not be allowed to peddle homespun romance tips. I have no idea how a nice girl like ShalaX8258 would get mixed up with the likes of Love Ogre, but we all make mistakes, I guess. Maybe she has some fancy Twitter app that sets your profile description to be the same as the strangest account following you? Who knows? All I know is that Love Ogre’s oddness did not adequately prepare me for my next follower, and her very terse brand of rage:
Straight, merciless, and to the point. No attempts at seduction or mystique, just the simple threat that she will kill me if I don’t click on her profile link. She might kill me regardless, you never can tell with Spambots. Maybe her rage comes from being slightly less pretty than ShalaX8258, but we’ll never know. All I know is this: Spambots are altogether too mean these days.
Mr. David Benson is a social media analyst and coffeephile. He currently lives in New York City and works as an analyst for Mashwork, a social media analytics company.