Back when I was comparing social media archives, I considered resurrecting my old LOLspam project as a Mastodon bot. I never quite got around to it, partly because I was able to do most of what I wanted to automate using IFTTT, so I stopped investigating that last 5%.

Last night, I threw together a quick and dirty bot to post a random item from a text file in about 20 minutes.

Then I spent three hours going through the Twitter archive for @LOL_Spam, pulling out jokes that are too dated or cringeworthy. (I hope I didn’t miss any. It was midnight by the time I finished, and I was really tired!)

This morning I modified the script to take a second file as a queue for new items.

  • I can add new items to the queue file as I find them.
  • It’ll post from the queue on a schedule (using cron).
  • When it uses up the queue, it returns to posting random posts from the archive.

If you’re interested in funny/odd spam subjects (and you’re OK with swearing and occasional lewdness), check out @LOLspam@BotsIn.Space. You can follow from any Mastodon or other Fediverse account.

The script itself is called fedbotrandom. I wrote it in Perl, using text files, so I could just put it in cron on any *nix box instead of worrying about language/database support or installing a runtime or DB engine. I’ve made it really simple on purpose, and while I do plan on writing some better error handling when I have time, It’s already more complex than I wanted it to be!

You can find me on Mastodon at

A series of spam subjects in my junk folder, sorted alphabetically. I can’t help but read them as someone repeatedly trying to get my attention, getting more frantic and frustrated as time goes by.

how are you doing?

how are you getting on?

How Are You Getting Along?

How are you,


How Do You Do.

how are you getting along?


Here’s another comment spammer whose software plugged in every phrase on its generic comment list instead of picking one at random. Notice how vague these tend to be, so that they could easily apply to almost any post on almost any site.

If you see any of these comments show up on your blog, chances are good that it’s a spammer trying to get a backlink to their shady site, not someone who actually wants to contribute to the conversation.

(Originally cross-posted from LOL Spam)

Continue reading

You’ve probably seen it: comments that say something entirely vague and either flattering or condescending, that could apply to just about any article. And then they link to an “escort” site, or a pill seller…or some small-town insurance office in the middle of nowhere who hired a black hat “SEO expert” who promised he’d get them backlinks and doesn’t care about the site’s reputation.

I got a great one last week: Somehow instead of getting one randomly-chosen message from a set, I got all of them in one comment: Continue reading

Over on another blog, I noted that Netflix’s new DVD name Qwikster sounded familiar. I got some support requests and a small spam run, including this comment:

I keep getting these creepy late-night phone calls from the CEO of Netflix saying that no one else is ever going to love me like he does.

Why do I get the feeling that someone read Woot’s parody of the post?