The digital ecosystem is indeed a murky place. When I first set up my blog my comments page was inundated with spam which I decided to go through manually. Some of this spam was so utterly nonsensical and apparently pointless that it got me thinking – who or what generates this drivel and for what purpose?
I’d like to tell a story here to illustrate where I’m going with this. When we lived in crime-riddled Mexico City, many houses in our suburb were hidden behind high walls topped with shards of colourful broken glass or decorative but lethally pointed wrought iron. Not long after we arrived, a uniformed man knocked on the fortified door of our high walled but not particularly secure property and offered to guard our house. Without getting into the whole social justice side of societies like this where the rich and poor live cheek-by-jowl, we were told by people well versed in how such operations worked that if we didn’t pay up, we would probably be robbed.
So perhaps some spam serves a similar purpose. After all, if spam didn’t exist, then anti-spam services wouldn’t exist either. It’s like creating a disease then selling the cure. In my mind the paid host should do a spam clean as part of their service. It’s the only way to keep things fair.
I believe in a free market, albeit one with a finely tuned moral compass. See John Oliver’s wonderful Last Week Tonight for ferocious investigative journalism and examples of how things can go horribly wrong in the free market when people/corporations behave unethically.
Which brings me to the comments people have sent me. Most arrive on my comments page with advertising attached. So who puts this in? WordPress? ( in which case I’m sorry to genuine posters). Or do the senders have hidden agendas; ie: are they actually advertisers?
This lack of transparency really bugs me.
But to those of you with specific and I’m going to assume sincere questions: with regard to copyright, anything posted online has copyright, but this doesn’t mean someone unscrupulous will ignore your artist’s rights ( see my mention of moral compasses above). The copyright page of The Infidel’s Garden has a thematically relevant strategy for dealing with this. Click on the link below for a ‘Look Inside’ version of the book.
On that note, I’ll be including a separate post on superstition shortly. I’m also planning to set up a separate blog for The Infidel’s Garden.
No idea with regard to internet compatibility issues. Yes, to the request to share my blog on Facebook – the more readers I have the better as long as they have lungs, brains and hearts pumping warm blood through their veins.
Meanwhile, to those of you who are not bots or marketers of advertising space, I’m interested in any comments on the whole spam/advertising conundrum. How can we clear away the murk? How do we keep this digital ecosystem free of predators and pollution?
Obviously spammers and advertisers need not reply.