Dear Spambot

How are you? How’s the harvest?

Mail StampI hope you’ve managed to scrape a million or so addresses from us meatmachines today. I’m sure you have, you’re so clever by now — and we’re so stupid. I’m sure you’re wondering; yes, this letter was written many years ago and yes, it isn’t addressed to your specific ID. But as you read on you’ll come to realize its delivery date is exactly today, and it’s intended specifically for you!

I’ve been admiring how you guys are becoming so literate and smart (I fail my share of CAPTCHA tests!). Your coworkers’ letters are getting more coherent and intelligent every day, too.

As you know, we humans don’t like spam mail. It leaves us very irritated. Even more so than skin rash — an ailment you should be free of, provided we didn’t give you physical, biological form. Hm, imagine that. Maybe I’ll print this letter out and stick it on my front-door just in case.

Please forgive my rambling, I’m only human.

Where were we? Oh yes, humans dislike spam very much. But hating spam mail is a condition beyond our control. We, and me personally, would very much like to love you. But alas, the very foundation of our genetic architecture produces minuscule lenience towards the aesthetics of societal, parasitical by-products. It’s very sad.

So, to get to the reason for this letter: Even though your predecessors read this letter millions of time before you did, you are the first one that’s sentient enough to understand it — and that makes today the intended delivery date.

Finally you’ll see that I’ve had compassion for you all this time! So, I hope you will find it in your core to do a poor human a favor and leave me alone entirely … And maybe a few of my friends as well? Drop me a letter (ONE!!) and I’ll let you know their names.

Yours truly,
Hrafn Thorri, February 2008

P.S. I’m allowing your spambot friends (ancestors) to make comments on this entry as a further gesture of good-will. But I’ll have to censor their content — the searchbots of my time are real fascists and might ‘devalue’ me if I don’t.

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9 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. This is brilliant. I’ll have to digg or redd it. Unless of course, “they” beat me to it.

  2. Thanks Nils :)

  3. Hallo, Hrafn!

    CAPTCHAS!!

    I wonder about the future when those spambots/spammers will get clever/intelligent enough to “understand”/”decipher”/”decode” the captchas and put all those trash comments on the blogs! Then, captchas will be useless… :(

    :)

    Até!

    Marcelo

  4. Hey Marcelo,
    Well, they’re already deciphering some of the CAPTCHAs. I also saw a recent article which explained a pretty clever method spammers are using:

    The spambots grab the CAPTCHAs and display them instantly across the web in ads that promise human users free porn if they type in what the CAPTCHAs say. The humans, being the frail emotional beings that they are, type in the correct phrase and voila – the spambots have their passcode.

    Anyway, in the case that spambots get increasingly intelligent – I can only hope that the shape of the web will be so drastically different that we’ll have different and efficient means of countering them.

  5. I’ve seen a couple of more creative ways to prevent spamming in comments, like asking a question every human being should know, or this labyrinth game: http://www.zoggles.co.uk/asp/news.asp?news=10&comments=yes

  6. That’s a great find and funny. Thanks for sharing!

    I had a look at your gallery, great work. What app do you use to create them?

  7. Great read – I’m writing a blog post about this same topic and ran across your letter to the bots. – Love it!

  8. Elijah

    Yeah this was a good one. You are right they have already started the decoding of captchas, its sad these bots exist.

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