Over the last few months I’ve been noticing a trend in blog spam: The use of nice comments and outright flattery. Here are some examples:
I find this interesting from an evolutionary biology standpoint. If you’ve read any of the literature on this fascinating topic you might be familiar with the question of:
Who wins long-term battles for reproduction: the greedy, evil types or the sharing types?
The answer, interestingly enough, is that winners tend to be those who reciprocate positivity but shun cheaters. The key point being that giving resources to others isn’t a losing proposition–in fact it’s beneficial as long as you do it intelligently (i.e. not to people who don’t give back).
I see this new spamming technique to be a calculated and cynical knight’s move to take advantage of our evolutionary tendency to react positively to those who say nice things to us. If someone shows up and says, “Great blog!”, you are less inclined to delete their comment–even if it is linking to a Mold Removal service you aren’t 100% behind.
So, flattery as a method of getting links into blogs. Yet another way social penetration methods are more effective than technological ones. ::