Spam, Bots, and Turing Tests

Since I started my blog I have had 350+ spam comments. They tend to come in waves of similar types of comments. One week they might all be in Russian, the next week they all refer to Houdini and seatbelts. Broadly speaking they fall in to two categories, they are either flattering and wanting me to click on a malicious link or they make no sense whatsoever.

This latter class of comments are interesting because of their seeming pointlessness - there is no link for me to click on contained in the comment.  This got me thinking that when I set the comments to "spam", "trash" or "publish" the author of those comments would get a message back saying: " Your comment has been published/deleted". This could be useful feedback if these comments were generated by a computer and some one was trying to write a bot that could perform natural language processing and maybe even pass the Turing Test. To train the bot you would need lots of examples of text that can be easily parsed from a web page, and where better than a blog to get that sort of information. Each time I set the status of a comment to spam I am helping train a bot and  have become an unwitting servant of a malicious hackers.


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