I have a little recipe blog--I'm not promoting here on E2, it's just something I started to share recipes with family and friends. I don't have any money-making ads on it--you know those incredibly annoying ads that pop up all over when you're trying to read the content--and I don't even include photos of the food, just old family photos.
Nevertheless, it is on the internet so strangers do occasionally stumble across it, and some are apparently stranger than others. Occasionally I look to see if there are any comments awaiting moderation or at the statistics to see what countries the people viewing the blog are from; most are from the United States, but the blog has had people from Russia, Latvia, France, Spain, etc. who have viewed some of the recipes.
Recently there was an increase in views and comments, and I was--naively--pleased. Several of the comments seemed to be made by viewers for whom English was not their native language. All of the comments were anonymous, and most of the comments were effusive in their praise, but some asked for help getting their own blogs started or advice to prevent hackers. I even published a few of the first comments. Truly, who wouldn't be proud of receiving a comment like this:
Wonderful goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great. I actually like what you've acquired here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful website.
But then I noticed that the blog seemed slower to load and seemed to act a bit wonky (a technical term I'm sure you all know). I also noticed that all of the comments were made on only one post. That seemed strange.
I'm not sure why, but I decided to do a Google search on a text string in one of the more fractured comments:
"Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be told used to be a enjoyment account it."
Wow. 15,300 results in just .41 seconds. I began to suspect my "audience" might not be real and my writeup might not be quite as auspicious as I thought.
Next I checked the Traffic Sources and clicked on one of the Referring URLs. An innocuous-sounding URL starting with "OnlineNow.top/." OMG! It opened up a porn site. Why is a porn site referring what I must suppose are masturbating morons and/or hackers (let's face it, there's no "or" about it!) to my food blog? And why are there so many assholes on the internet?
Of course, like blankets infested with smallpox, why is anything that could and should be perceived as benign always be perverted by those with evil intent?