Negative feedback is one of the best things a writer of any calibre can receive. If we seem ungrateful as we pound our fists into your soft, pudgy, yielding flesh, why, we’re only showing you how it feels, you ungrateful bastard. How dare you reject our many and wonderful gifts?
As you may have deduced from the above, it is also a slightly painful experience. Whenever you throw something personal out into the world, having people tell you it’s not good enough hurts — even if you knew it was not good enough yourself, even if you really wanted to know what was wrong with it, even if you disagree with the feedback. Sometimes, all writers really want (deep down) is a pat on the back and a shiny gold sticker to paper over those enormous plot holes.
There was one thing, though, which, until recently, I believed I could count on. One type of individual that would always offer uncritical appreciation and praise of everything I ever wrote. When the real world left me bruised and confused, shouts about indistinct things such as poor characterisation and immature word choices ringing in my ears, I always fled back to the warm, comforting, greasy embrace of one familiar figure.
Recently, however, I got a whole string of spambot comments which purported to illustrate flaws in my writing. Attempts at planking them proved futile, and broke my laptop. It is possible I will never understand exactly what “planked” means. Eventually, I simply gave up and read the pointless things.
There are several questions that these comments raised in my mind, but the first (and only relevant question) was “Why did they think anyone would approve these comments?” Feedback is one thing, but these comments were just mean. Mean, and fairly stupid.
“Wow! Why did I waste my time reading that? When I could! have been reading/watching on these site?”
“Hey, whos with me, we should stop reading poorly spelled websites and head over to [removed] to play poker?”
“This site is kinda cool [Why thank you] but if you want real informations about motorbike maintenance and handling care [what] you should click here [removed, it was a link to an adult site]. This site sucks anyway [But spambot! I thought we were friends].”
This is just a small selection of the increasingly critical and incoherent spam comments I’ve been getting lately. They have left me a little bemused, to be honest.
I thought I’d just ask if anyone else has been getting these comments, whether they’ve approved them out of curiosity/bloody-mindedness/other, and whether anyone has any idea what exactly these spammers are hoping to achieve with this campaign?
Surely they must be getting results, or they would have stopped by now — right?