Wayward Comments

If you’ve noticed some odd reader comments here on Acts of Volition in the last little while, rest assured that we’re as confused as you are.

Starting about a month ago, comments started showing up here on Acts of Volition on old posts, where the were no other comments, or the conversations were long dead. Perhaps you’ve noticed some of the more peculiar comments, including: odd letters to Bill Gates, weird robot talk, a Korn fan named jimmibob, and strangest of all, some crazy-ass comments on the death of Biggie Smalls (removed because they were offensive).

The nature of the comments makes it clear that the posters aren’t at all familiar with the nature and content of the site and conversations that go on here. I’m glad to welcome new people to the site, but these replies feel more like people driving by and yelling out their window than sending a note or dropping by for a chat.

My best guess as to why this has started happening all of the sudden is some change in the way Google is indexing the site. We did recently redesign this site with a URL scheme that’s a bit more friendly to search engine indexers. Still, I don’t see this kind of behaviour on other sites (or maybe I just haven’t seen it).

I don’t want to close comments down on old posts. Some readers may come along with pertinent links or comments on old posts – they should be able to add them. I guess we’ll just to grin and bear it.


10 thoughts on “Wayward Comments

  1. “Still, I don’t see this kind of behaviour on other sites (or maybe I just haven’t seen it).”

    You haven’t seen it, Steven. Several times over the years have I pondered severing connection to the Internet and ditching the old box (of course, not for long) when coming across/experiencing something plainly distasteful to me. Having this happen “close to home” is specially unsettleing. Removing this kind of doo-doo is like cleaning your lawn after a passing canine deposits a bundle of joy for you (though without the innocense).

  2. I noticed that too, by clicking on the Bill Gates thing, about a month or so ago. That was weird!

    I’ll come back in three years to update this comment…

  3. I have seen that on my site, which surely ranks several orders of magnitude below yours, so it’s not a matter of fame. Technically not a spam (no link , no email), pure gibberish comment like someone demented shouting to whoever pass by on the street. The comment was left on an old post, enforcing my feeling that s/he came through a more or less random click from a search engine listing. Weird.

  4. It occurs to me that the most obvious explanation has not been mentioned: kids. Apparently they’re on the Internet now too.

  5. I get some rather weird comments and email from readers from time to time. Some guy in Saudi Arabia feels the need to regularly post links to sites about Islam. Since they are compeletely off-topic, I delete them.

    Someone once asked me if ugly people can find jobs.

    And my missive on Classmate’s marketing campaign has brought emails from more than one person seeking help in using the Classmate’s site. Including someone who emailed me their username and password and said they couldn’t log in, could I please reset their account?

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