The world’s friendliest spam bot

Spam is one of the scourges of the Internet. (How’s that for the most obvious statement of the year?) There was a time not long ago, before I eliminated one of my constantly-spammed e-mail addresses, that I was getting upwards of 250 spam messages a day. I’m sure that number is low by some people’s standards, but it was absurd by mine.

By removing the offending address (jammer@st-hypertext.com, so don’t send anything there) I was able to cut my spam by two-thirds. Which makes me wonder how that address became such a spam magnet, considering I hadn’t used it or publicized it well over a year. I guess it was in a lot of databases from the previous seven years.

I hate spam as much as the next guy. But I also find it vaguely unprofessional-looking when people put up their e-mail addresses publicly and try to hide them from bots with brilliantly conceived encryption like “jammer at jammersreviews dot com.” (I tend to think the spam bots would be smart enough to find that, but never mind.) My own position is that if you have a public e-mail address, you shouldn’t be so afraid of spam bots as to turn your e-mail address into something “cryptically clever.” You should take the spam hit on behalf of your customers.

Besides, that’s what spam filters are FOR. (If it weren’t for effective spam blockers, e-mail would be virtually intolerable because of the massive deluges of junk.) With today’s good spam filters (I think Gmail’s are excellent), there’s no need to “fear” spam bots and hide from them.

Equally as common as e-mail spam is spam in web forms. If you run a blog or community web site, you know this all too well. Here at IDWID, in addition to the typically five or fewer legit comments I receive on my postings, I also get about 80 spam messages a day (all automatically filtered by Akismet, which is a godsend).

At my newspaper web site job, we run comments at the end of all our stories. We also have Akismet installed there, but quite a bit of spam still slips through to the pending queue.

Which brings me to the true subject of this posting.

In addition to the typical sex and meds and mortgage-info spam, there’s one particularly memorable spam bot that sends us stuff all the time. He stands out because of his strange name and his unending friendliness. His name is “rgergerger.” (I like to pronounce it reh-jer-jer-jer.)

Have you seen rgergerger on your site? I’ve seen him at work, as well as on postings at IDWID and through the web forms at Jammer’s Reviews. At work, we kinda get a kick out of rgergerger on a sort of inside-joke level: “This guy really likes our site.” “Who?” “Rgergerger.” (Fell for it again.)

The thing about rgergerger is that he’s always so damned positive and complimentary. I went through a sampling of his spam postings from work over the past few days, and here’s what he had to say about our wonderful web site:

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 07:28:05 said:
“I like it and the background and colors make it easy to readS”

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 05:32:34 said:
“Thank you for your site. I have found here much useful information…”

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 05:25:40 said:
“You guys do a wonderful job! Keep up the good work!!!l”

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 04:36:51 said:
“The site’s very professional! Keep up the good work! Oh yes, one extra comment – maybe you could add more pictures too! So, good luck to your team!”

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 04:32:46 said:
“Very cool design! Useful information. Go on!”

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 01:02:27 said:
“s prazdnikov vas

[ ^ I can only assume that’s meant as a compliment.]

rgergerger on 12/14/2007 06:06:50 said:
“Excellent site, added to favorites!!”

rgergerger on 12/13/2007 05:36:43 said:
“Oh o ho! very nice site!”

rgergerger on 12/13/2007 02:33:58 said:
“I you all love!r”

rgergerger on 12/12/2007 05:43:18 said:
“Hi! Definitely nice and neat site you got there.6” (

rgergerger on 12/11/2007 09:01:06 said:
“I have your site for its useful and funny content and simple design.”

rgergerger on 12/11/2007 05:08:25 said:
“Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!”

rgergerger on 12/11/2007 01:38:42 said:
“keep up the good work!t” (from

rgergerger on 12/10/2007 06:20:13 said:
“You guys do a wonderful job! Keep up the good work!!!””

rgergerger on 12/10/2007 06:06:04 said:
“I’m love this great website. Many thanks guye”

He likes us! He really likes us! He might not have the best grammar or typing skills, but he likes us.

Just who, or what, is rgergerger? I’d like to know. I looked around very briefly on Google but didn’t find an explanation. (I found a blog posting titled “Who or What is Rgergerger?” but it didn’t really get to the bottom of it.) Who came up with the concept of a spam bot that has nothing but nice stuff to say and no advertising links to pitch?

Maybe the filters are removing the ad links, but the net result is the world’s friendliest spam bot.

Keep the praise coming, buddy!

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11 comments on this post

Rgergerger
Tuesday, December 18, 2007, 9:48 pm (UTC -6)

great blog post, keep up the good work.

rgergerger
Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 8:08 am (UTC -6)

I love this site!!! Much useful information!

Jamahl Epsicokhan
Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 9:09 am (UTC -6)

Comedians.

I almost posted as rgergerger first to head off the obvious joke.

NoPoet
Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 11:09 am (UTC -6)

Dammit, beaten to the (rather obvious) jest. Regergerger got it right though, this is an excellent site.

Eric G.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007, 4:14 pm (UTC -6)

I was curious, so I also google’d “rgergerger”, which returned blog postings just as you described. Then, for no real reason, I did a Google Images search with the same term, and somewhat amusingly, your local paper made the front page. It looks like IDWID is creeping up in the “rgergerger” rankings also.

FawnDoo
Friday, December 21, 2007, 8:48 am (UTC -6)

I read a while back that some spam bots try to be clever and post a few times with none of the usual keywords or sales pitches – trying to fool automated spam blockers by being added to any list of approved posters that might exist. Could be rgergerger is one such spam bot – ok to a human with the appropriate level of intelligence it looks obvious, but to an automated service it might look legitimate enough to allow. Then, a while later, when rgergerger starts posting links, a few might get through.

Jamahl Epsicokhan
Friday, December 21, 2007, 9:42 am (UTC -6)

I saw a so-simple-it’s-brilliant anti-spam measure a few weeks ago that I have since written into my “recommend this page” feature over at my other site. It simply asks, “Three plus four equals:” and then provides a box. If the correct answer is not supplied, the script simply tosses out the request rather than sending an e-mail. Call it a poor man’s capcha.

The log file shows that not a single bot has answered the question correctly, cutting down to zero (so far) the abuse of the form.

Sometimes I wonder if bot’s aren’t as smart as we think — at least some of them, anyway.

quizno2007
Friday, December 21, 2007, 11:20 pm (UTC -6)

“It’s been revealed! Helena Cain and Gina Inviere are lovers! Brought to you by Quiznos!”

Bryan K
Saturday, December 22, 2007, 10:32 am (UTC -6)
Dani
Saturday, January 26, 2008, 6:42 pm (UTC -6)

“s prazdnikov vas”
is in russian, and means something like
“happy holidays to you” 🙂
maybe this bot is of russian origin

Walk3r
Friday, August 22, 2008, 3:55 pm (UTC -6)

The rgergerger idiot has been smamming my sites with the same messages for over 1 year now and he has sometimes inserted some links to casino and sex url’s
I believe the bot is run by some russian or indonesian but always uses anonymous I.P. connections

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