My What Big Balls You Have, RealInsurance.Com.Au! All The Better To Kick You In!

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52 Responses

  1. Greg says:

    Wow. That is just… Wow.

  2. Scott Jacobs says:

    But don't do that.

    God damnit, man. You KNOW that I have poor impulse control… Why would you even put that idea in my head???

  3. Ken says:

    I could swear I saw this same thing happen a few years ago.

    Are we sure it's not a scam itself – a double-bluff marketing tool?

  4. Dan Irving says:

    What's funny (not ha ha funny really – more of a man-that's-really sketchy-behavior funny) is that the thread had silent for almost a year before their little monkey got their spam all over it. Also, the commenter that posted the spam actually has a FB page (I refuse to call it 'a facebook' – the 'book' is the entire thing damn it!). I wonder if this is an example of one of those 'work from home and earn $$ at your computer' type jobs. Sort of the modern day 'tele-marketer'.

  5. Patrick says:

    If it is a double-bluff marketing tool Ken, you'll notice I didn't provide a hyperlink. If this is the sort of publicity they want…

  6. Mike K says:

    Too bad they didn't read Ken's post on how to write these kinds of requests. A simple, "Would you mind removing these spam posts?" might have actually worked.

  7. Ken says:

    I'm not saying it's a wise approach, Patrick. I'm just saying I could swear I remember someone making this exact same approach a couple of years ago. Has anyone Googled key terms or sentences?

  8. Robert White says:

    There really ought to be a number of sites that people run where posting any link is a strong douchetard indicator for automagically poisoning search results.

    Better yet, if there were a "meta" tag that any links in the frame are not intentional by the author/owner of the page.

    A different meta tag would make the page link-neutral.

    This way, when the spammers spam the page it would be an automatic downvote. Or people could go to bitch pages and bitch about sites without inflating their ranks.

  9. Nick says:

    I keep the comments on my blog open; pretty sure I've had these guys post there, as well. I'll have to dig through later–right now I'm too busy deleting comments from a white supremacist group (no, I'm not kidding).

  10. Bearman says:

    I would respond "Please provide me with a URL list of any potential links and I would be happy to remove the comments" They heck if I am going to search through my blog for them.

    Oh and the linked article. Love this analogy

    "I don't leave my business cards in other lawyers' lobbies. Why should lawyers think they can leave their business cards on my website?"

  11. Chris R. says:

    Reverse spam. Interesting theory.

  12. S. Weasel says:

    For WordPress users, Akismet spam filter works a treat. It misses very few spams, and traps very few legitimate comments. I'd be lost without it.

    I love pawing through the Spam bucket and watching the latest trends in robocomments. Currently, they seem to be pinching comments from real sites, because they call people out by name and answer specific questions.

  13. Margaret says:

    Let me see if I get this straight: realinsurance is the one who propagated hundreds of spam links on these site comments in the first place? And because having done so in the past is now lowering their reputation, they respond by writing threatening letters to the bloggers they spammed?

    Yeah, that's "Chutzspam" all right. Or as Michele Bachmann might say, "Choots-spam".

  14. darius404 says:

    I was sentenced to six months in prison for inappropriate use of a webcam in a women's locker room. When I received my sentence, the judge said,

    "You can quote me on this, son. You need pychiatric help."

    My attorney, who claimed that I was unnaturally compelled to install webcams in the women's locker room by mental disorders resulting from exposure to a marketing consultant's spam, says that this was not a structured sentence, so I have no grounds for appeal.

    What can I do?

  15. Mike K says:

    @darius The sentence is broken up weirdly by a quote. The attorney is/was claiming that the spam is by a marketing consulatant.

  16. Patrick says:


    You sat and puzzled over that, thinking and parsing, thinking and parsing, unable to come up with what the sentence meant. Then you wasted your valuable time and mine to comment on sentence structure. But you didn't provide a diagram.

    How am I to improve without a diagram?

  17. darius404 says:

    I'll get right on that diagram. Just give me a few years, I'm a slow thinker.

  18. KevinS says:

    That's tame actually, I received something much nastier threatening to sue me if I didn't remove the (one and only) spam comment linking to a site off a blog I host (apparently they've never heard of Section 230 protections) within 48 hours. Only a vaguely defined "this might be impacting our client's search engine rank and costing them money" to support why they would sue me, along with some bizarre hand-waving trying to conflate linking to a site as a trademark violation. 48 hours passed and they didn't actually sue, of course.

    My hosting company tells me they started getting a TON of these nastigrams after Google's Penguin update, and they're just passing them along to their customers as a courtesy but otherwise that's it. Their legal analysis shows it's bullshit too, so they won't kick any customers off or even threaten them.

    I'd say there's a story there, one that'll embarrass a LOT of companies that previously employed scummy means to try to boost their pagerank.

    Personally, I'd almost be willing to say we ought to leave the spam up now that it's backfiring on them! Nothing like watching a spammer unload both barrels into their own foot!

  19. Narad says:

    For WordPress users, Akismet spam filter works a treat.

    The recent switchover of ScienceBlogs to WP strongly suggests otherwise. It's also just a dumb whack-a-mole model.

  20. Narad says:

    (Addendum: You want to take care of much of this? Shitcan comments without referrers.)

  21. Trisha Lynn says:

    Narad: I think the point that Ken (and Patrick, in the linked post) is trying to make is that they shouldn't have to do anything more elaborate than lightly reviewing comments for disgusting and asinine behavior when trying to fight trolls and spammers. Besides, your suggestion would penalize real readers like me who type in "" rather than have the site bookmarked or read through an RSS feed. That's not cool, is it?

  22. It's weird, this story is reminding me of some quote that starts "If you outsource your marketing…." Nah, I can't remember where I heard it, never mind.

  23. Patrick says:

    We don't care where our commenters come from Narad. We only care about what they have to say.

  24. S. Weasel says:

    OoooOOO – Inman has posted The Picture.


  25. M. says:

    Wait, what? They spammed the blog, and are now demanding that the blog author clean it up because they don't like the traffic?

    Isn't that the equivalent of me shitting on someone's carpet and demanding they clean it up because the smell is bothering me?

    Please tell me I'm misunderstanding grossly?

  26. Margaret says:

    @S. Weasel:

    THANK YOU! Oh man, is that ever sweet. The coins on the floor in the FU picture are just the ne plus ultra.

  27. EH says:

    I might be more sympathetic if I hadn't had to stop reading TPM due to their shitty-ass ad policies.

  28. Narad says:

    We don't care where our commenters come from Narad. We only care about what they have to say.

    Do you care if they're injecting "comments" directly without reading the post?

  29. V says:

    @Trisha Lynn
    Would the act of posting a comment not have the article they are commenting on as a referrer? Unless it was posted by an automated process that failed to include that field?

  30. Patrick says:

    Narad. I can tell when someone is injecting "comments" directly without reading the post.

    Witness S. Weasel, who I just banned for posting Oatmeal shit in the comments to this post.

  31. V says:

    I just checked; the POST command did include a Referer to this article.

    People using bookmarks and typing addresses would be able to visit and read popehat as normal and would also be able to comment, unless their browser failed to transmit a valid Referer for the POST command for their comment.

  32. Patrick says:


    I'm banning you, just because.

  33. David Leech says:



    I'm banning you, just because.

    Fuck you you censorious twat. You wouldn't be out of place in communism or fascism Europe in the last century. Oh and did I say fuck you.

  34. Patrick says:

    David Leech, since you asked…

  35. Robert White says:

    Wow, Inman is really kinda cute… reminds me of someone famous too but I cannot think of the name. 8-)

    Is that off-topic? 8-)

  36. SPQR says:

    Patrick, does not David at least get points for correctly spelling "censorious" ? No point for "twat" since I figured that that word was prominently tattooed somewhere within his field of vision.

  37. SPQR says:

    Oh, and great find Mark.

  38. Patrick says:

    I've mellowed since those days SPQR. In fact I've already lifted the bans on V and S. Weasel.

    But on David Leech? Nosiree. He's thrown the terms "censorious" and "Soviet" (look up his commenting history) around here for the last time.

    Way back in the Stone Ages, I did a lot of graduate work on Stalinism. If I were a genuine Stalinist, I would not only have banned David Leech. I would have had him arrested, put on trial with a pre-determined outcome, and then shot and buried in a pit. Then I would have his family arrested and sent to excavate a canal near the arctic circle, using their bare hands as digging tools, for ten years.

  39. M. says:

    Call me a sycophant if you must, but I equate calling someone a Stalinist to a Godwin's Law violation that's dabbled in steroids.

  40. Narad says:

    Narad. I can tell when someone is injecting "comments" directly without reading the post.

    That's all the point was. I don't think I've ever even seen comment spam here; the original comment was a follow-on to the general adequacy of Akismet. (Although I would advance that there's no reason to be seeing such injections in the first place.)

  41. Joe says:

    Ah spam how I love thee let me count the ways.

    I stepped away for a few days and came back to an inbox overflowing with emails. Only two were actual spam. Most of the spam that gets through our corporate filter are marketing companies trying to sell us lists of executives and their contact data. Unfortunately for them – our lists are more up to date but more importantly we sell to the business, not IT. Something they would know if they had actually researched what we do.

    Anyway, feeling a bit frisky, I decided to zip an email back to “Linda” regarding the information she stated her company could provide on said executives. I thought, well if I’m going to do this let’s get some really good dirt. So I send an email back to Linda stating that I would be very interested in a marketing list not only of executive names but specifically their bank account balance, any affairs they’ve had, delinquencies/bankruptcies, trouble with the law, family secrets, etc. I mean why waste all my time actually selling some business executive on the value of our solution if I can just blackmail them instead? My win rate would go up, the time needed to close a deal would go down, I’d be on the golf course every day. Easy peasy right?

    She never did respond. I’m really quite put out.

  42. SPQR says:

    Ah, Patrick, the last thing I was doing was criticizing … ;-)

  43. Patrick says:

    David Leech attempts to comment, from his phone:

    Ha censorship the last refuged of the coward, good day to you sir.

    To which I reply that he really needs to warn his family before indulging in this sort of behavior, so that they can pack a suitcase before the inevitable knock at the door.

  44. SPQR says:

    Patrick, you got a good trenchcoat? All the fashionable Chekists have trenchcoats, I'm assured. ;-)

  45. G Thompson says:

    For everyone's interest (since being in Australia this has piqued mine) Rohan Salins the author of this misleading and wrongful (even under Australian statutes) post is not a practicing solicitor (nr even holds a law degree, and instead is just the Online Marketing Manager of Real Insurance [found via linkedIn]

    It also seems Rohan is a member of ADMA (Australian Direct Marketing Association) who has a zero tolerance for spammers. Especially when SPAM is classified as an offense under Australian Legislation (though granted Internet comment spam is currently not covered). Looks like I might have a nice little word with ADMA and ACMA (the enforcer for the Spam Act 2003)

    Maybe he also knows Ms Lily Adams whom it seems has numerous comments spammingpromoting the Hollard Insurance group of companies that RealInsurance is a part of. Hmmmm

  46. David Leech says:

    Yep, free speech is a joke, after all we're not communist or fascist right. What could possible go wrong with good old fashioned censorship. Human rights pah, I ow hope the GOP get in as you get the government you deserve.

    Stop me before I kill again. The bodies in my basement. So many innocent children! The blood – my God, the blood! Why won't it wash out? Iä! Shub Niggurath! THE BLACK GOAT OF THE WOODS WITH A THOUSAND YOUNG!

  47. Merus says:

    Real Insurance are also a semi-reputable insurance broker. I imagine they wouldn't appreciate this approach being brought up in the papers. Let's see if we can get the papers to bite.

  48. Goober says:

    So, if I understand this correctly, and written in layman's terms, they are essentially saying:

    "hey. How's it goin'? So, remember us? yeah, we're the company that has been spamming the comments of your blog for the last ten years with insurance sales pitches and crap. So, what has happened is that our reputation has suffered horribly from our totally shitty way of advertising our business – I know, who'dathunkit, right? So, over the last ten years, when we've been driving you crazy with our spam, we managed to create a pretty massive backlog of comment spam on your site, so that now when we Google ourselves, all that comes up is comment spam and that makes us look bad. So, uh, we're going to have to ask you to remove that. No, actually, we're going to DEMAND that you remove it. In essence, we let our dog shit in your yard for ten years, and now the smell is getting pretty bad and we're going to have our lawyer sue your ass for the stink if you don't go clean up after us."

    That's a lot of bloody cheek, there, wouldn't you say, chaps?

  49. Goober says:

    For WordPress users, Akismet spam filter works a treat

    Oh, Wease, you're getting so…

    British!. In fact, it rubbed off on me in my last post. Stop that!

  50. Patrick says:

    David Leech. Simmer down please.

  51. Rich Rostrom says:

    To which I reply that he really needs to warn his family before indulging in this sort of behavior, so that they can pack a suitcase before the inevitable knock at the door.

    During the Great Purge, and IIRC all the way up to Stalin's death, composer Dmitri Shostakovich (a world-famous musician, and totally apolitical) kept a packed suitcase at hand in case of… the knock at the door.

    That was real Stalinism.

    Whiny fools like Leech have no idea what they're talking about – you clearly do.

  52. joe says:

    Ah even more fun. Now I have to say this is the first time I’ve gotten one of these in m inbox. Check it out – it is a bit unusual from a staffing firm.

    For fun, I sent the following email in reply:

    I am responding to your email as I am searching for a full-service undead staffing and training services provider. I find that real living employees are far too demanding – salary, vacation time, coffee breaks, and on and on. I really need someone who can dig up all of my walking dead and living corpse hiring needs. I’d like to know if you specialize in temporary, contract, temp-to-hire and career candidates that will do the boring dead end jobs that none of my other employees want to do anyway. I just need to make sure you screen your corpses properly as the cleaning staff will have a fit if they have to clean up body parts that have fallen off any of the staff.

    Best regards,