Complaint against a comment spammer

I sent the following abuse complaint just now. (This is probably only interesting to folks who read certain comic feeds and like clicking on the comments link to see what other LJ users are saying about the comic.)

I enjoy reading syndicated feeds and usually having comments on them is a good thing, because I can chat with other users who read the same feed. However, user “jassalol” has figured out a loophole in this system – it is basically a community with no maintainer and he feels he has the “right” to post whatever he wants in it.

This occurs daily across several feeds. By his admission (check his userinfo) he posts “BOOBIES!!” *daily* on on apod, softerworldfeed, questionablerss, getfuzzy_comic2, pb_fellowship, sinfestfeed, someposifeed, vgc, xkcd_rss, or pennyarcaderss. Almost every day, multiple people post saying that they are upset with this behavior, causing a drama storm that totally drowns out relevant, meaningful comments. On days when there is no protest, “jassalol” will take a previous protest comment and *reply to himself* with it, causing even more drama.

This is clearly “comment spam” by any reasonable definition. It is clearly not relevant to the topic of the community – those of us who read the syndicated comments just want to discuss the content of the feed (usually comments) and this inappropriate/off-topic consistent, recurring comment takes away from that experience.

As a paid user (permanent since 2001) I feel angry that jassalol is consuming way more than his fair share of resources (including storage space for the inappropriate comments and drama, bandwidth and server resources to serve them.) I’m also concerned about the damage to LJ’s reputation because of this loophole – it gives the impression that LJ maintainers are asleep at the switch and because the community has no maintainer, there is no way to police the inappropriate comments. jassalol obviously feels that he has the “right” to post whatever he wants, in multiple communities, multiple times a day. A single unwanted comment, or a dozen or two, could be overlooked, but multiple times daily over a year and a half makes it pretty clear that the user is a spammer.

I am not sure what the best solution to the “comments on syn feeds are uncontrolled and cannot be marked inappropriate” problem is, but I’m pretty sure the best solution to *this* current problem is to ban jassalol from posting to those communities which he has clearly abused. He obviously intends to keep abusing them until he is stopped. If you don’t have the appropriate interface to ban him from those communities, please just warn him to stop and let him know that his membership can be revoked for abusing the terms of service. You or other abuse team members may be able to think of a better solution; if so, great.

Thanks for your time.

I am limiting this list of inappropriate comments to incidents that have happened in the last week or so, on only the communities I actually read (3 of the 10 or so affected). If this is not enough to establish a trend of repeated abuse, please browse the other synfeeds listed above, going back a year and a half in some cases.

Also note that on most of these, jassalol has replied to himself with a recycled complaining comment–most likely because other readers have *tried* to just leave it alone and not respond, and jassalol *wants* more attention and more drama.

http://syndicated.livejournal.com/xkcd_rss/66451.html?thread=4443027
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/xkcd_rss/66635.html?thread=4493899
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/xkcd_rss/66965.html?thread=4547989
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/xkcd_rss/67134.html?thread=4572478
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/204976.html?thread=710064
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/205253.html?thread=710597
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/205458.html?thread=711058
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/205820.html?thread=711932
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/205991.html?thread=713383
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/getfuzzy_comic2/206318.html?thread=713966
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/315653.html?thread=11294725
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/316112.html?thread=11303632
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/316276.html?thread=11309684
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/316531.html?thread=11319155
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/316772.html?thread=11340132
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/317160.html?thread=11344360
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/sinfestfeed/317417.html?thread=11350761

Of course I could have just submitted the complaint anonymously and left it at that, but I decided to post this to my own journal as well. I feel strongly that spammers should not be allowed to trash things that I like, and I’m not afraid to tell them and others how I feel. Anyone else who feels strongly that such behavior is inappropriate is encouraged to submit an abuse complaint as well.

0 thoughts on “Complaint against a comment spammer

  1. jassalol

    HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    I’m a paid user as well, it’s not like I’m abusing a service I don’t pay for. I’m sure there are many other users (both paid and not) who use a lot more of Livejournal’s resources than I do. And for the record, I do have the right to post whatever I want there. As do you. As does everyone. Like it or not, the syndicated feeds are an even playing field, where anyone can post (almost) anything and not have it deleted. It’s not like I’m posting NSFW pictures or anything of that nature – it’s a single word. Nine characters.

    You mentioned the duration I’ve been making these posts – it’s actually coming up on two and a half years now. During that time there have been many complaints sent in to LJ Abuse. What I am doing does not actually violate any of the Terms of Service though. It’s not spam if I’m not advertising anything, my posts don’t affect your ability to read the comments, etc. You are wasting your and LJ Abuse’s time. I’m sure if they wanted me gone they would have done something about it by now.

    I’ve started reposting the complaints of other people as a side-project. I do it almost every day as soon as I’ve posted my BOOBIES!! post. It’s not an attempt to gain more attention or start flame-wars on ‘slow days’. Many people find it entertaining, and it has the added benefit of making fun of some of the more idiotic complainants plus discouraging others from complaining themselves.

    1. nekodojo

      Spam is not about whether you’re advertising a product or service. It’s about whether you are using the resource for its *intended* purpose. It’s pretty clear that the intended purpose of the feed comments is to discuss the feed. Posting your own message there is pretty clearly an abuse of what the resource was intended for. Posting the SAME message over and over, multiple times per day, IS comment spam. The simple fact that you post 10x to 100x more off-topic, not-feed-related material than on-topic relevant material makes you a pretty egregious spammer.

      Interestingly, I was prepared to just ignore the bad behavior and quitely hope that you would move on, but you started posting replies to yourself. Whatever the reason, the effect has been more and more screen space being taken up by your off-topic comment. It’s gotten to the point where my screen freezes for several seconds when loading the page, with the browser being unresponsive, while it draws tables within tables to show the indenting. That’s a strong indication that it’s gone beyond a silly or idle hobby. I think when there are more comments posted BY YOU of and about boobies than there are relevant, on-topic comments on the entire feed by everyone else, that is pretty much the textbook definition of comment spam. If it really, really was just one message on every comic, that could probably be ignored, but replying dozens and dozens of times so that the crap flows off the right side of the screen? Nobody can reasonably claim that’s not abusive. I hope lj abuse team takes action. I would happily buy 1-year subscriptions for 10 friends if they would just cancel your account.

      Spammers take nice things and shit on them. They do it in bulk, and they exploit loopholes in the system to get their own message out, without any regard or appreciation of the original intended use of the resources they are abusing. They drown out relevant messages by spewing more and more of their own crap. Nigerian millions, Viagra, online mortgages, boobies, it’s all the same. Spammers STEAL resources and DESTROY nice things. Go fling poo at your own house for a change.

      1. Anonymous

        The only definition of spam that matters in this case is LJ Abuse’s. And according to their definition, I am not a spammer :-)

        If your computer is having difficulty loading a simple page of comments, might I suggest you invest in a new computer? It sounds like you need it. Or if you’re using Firefox, you may want to close and reopen it. It’s a known problem with the program – it keeps chewing up memory the longer you leave it open.

        The example you’re probably referring to was on the xkcd feed a couple of days ago, yes? That was an unusually long thread, but it wasn’t all me. It takes at least two people to have any sort of discussion or argument. In any case, I’m perfectly within my rights to have a long conversation like that, and the subject matter shouldn’t matter at all (unless it was criminal harassment or conspiracy to commit a crime or something).

        As I mentioned in my last comment, I’m a paid user. I think that means I have some regard and appreciation of Livejournal. And I’m not destroying anything here. Well, except for your poorly constructed argument, of course.

        Have LJ Abuse replied yet? :D

        P.S. Really, screening comments and banning people who disagree with you is a pretty cowardly move. This is why I prefer the feeds – you can speak your mind without being censored.

        1. nekodojo

          First amendment, and how it works

          A lot of people tend to confuse Freedom of speech with Freedom of the press. You can often tell this sort of confusion is happening when people refer to the “right” they have to post somewhere, or how they are being “censored” unfairly.

          Freedom of speech means I can say what I want, on my own property and certain types of public places. However, nobody else is obliged to repeat and amplify my message for me.

          Freedom of the press belongs to those who own them (presses that is). If I buy or rent a press, and buy ink and paper, I can print what I want. It would be pretty silly of me to expect other people to spin up *their* presses and donate *their* media to making more copies of my message. It would also be either stupid or dishonest of me to suggest that I have the “right” to get my message repeated, stored and played back by others who happen to own presses, or any other type of media for that matter. I guess if I really want to get my message out there, I should really just start my own blog site and hope people come visit me there.

          Anyway I think I’ve said everything I wanted to say on the topic, and I choose not to donate space on my own personal (rented) journal to more messages from spammers, so if jassalol has anything more to say, he can do it over on his own journal where it belongs. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to read!

          1. Anonymous

            Re: First amendment, and how it works

            To clarify, I wasn’t playing the Freedom of speech card (I don’t even reside in the United States). I was just saying that Livejournal doesn’t frown upon long threads, or care if they’re off-topic.

            I won’t post here any more after this, but I would appreciate it if you’d be kind enough to unscreen this final comment.

            – Jassa

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