I get email, spam edition

I get so much spam. Because my name is on the about page for Freethoughtblogs as some kind of official leader (really, I’m not — I keep telling everyone it’s total anarchy here, with all these writers going their own way), I get all this email from commercial outfits that want free advertising — they tell me they have written an article that is just perfect for our site, and they’re willing to let me publish it for free (sometimes they even offer to pay me for the privilege). It’s often clear that they have no idea what they’re doing, they’re just looking at traffic rankings and trying to get their site injected into the stream. They’re pathetic. Like Patrick here:

Hi there,

My name is Patrick, I am the main editor at redacted.com

Hi, Patrick. Did you know that redacted.com is a shit site selling worthless or dangerous diet pills? Aren’t you a little embarrassed to be a shill for such patent garbage?

While browsing your site, I noticed you have an amazing article from this page:


Yes. It’s a good post. She writes lots of interesting things, I’m glad you noticed. But did you actually read what she wrote, or, Patrick, were you just randomly requesting attention on sites that used certain keywords? It’s all about how you shouldn’t judge people based on their bodies.

My team actually just published a comprehensive article on 44 Quick Effective Weight Loss, Body Shape Exercises for Women which I think your visitors would truly appreciate and add value to your awesome article.

You can check it out here: http://redacted.com/weight-loss-body-exercises-women/

Gosh, Patrick, it looks like you didn’t even glance at Yemmy’s article. You just saw the magic phrase “losing weight” in the URL.

If you were willing to add our link to that page, I would be more than happy to share it to thousands of our social followers to help you gain some visibility in exchange.

Ummm, no. We gain nothing by shilling for your crap page. You’re not looking to help us out at all — you want to tap into our readership to get more traffic to your worthless site.

I’m doing you a favor by not posting a link, because I don’t think our readers would like you very much.

Let me know what you think and thank you for your consideration!



What do I think? Fuck you, Patrick.

And then there’s Sam.

Hey PZ,

It’s disappointing to see that we have not been able to (re)connect in the last several months even after so much outreach.

We thought this would be an easy win-win considering the success we’ve seen in the past with publishers like yourself. We’ve been able to utilize the scale of our network to generate a higher ROI and much more.

If you can spare a few minutes I would appreciate knowing what your priorities are so I can reach back out should we develop new offerings that are relevant to you.



You’re disappointed, Sam? You’re trying to play the guilt card? You’ve been working so hard to be my profitable friend?

Fuck you too, Sam. Better yet, how about if you and Patrick get together and fuck each other for me.

I know, you don’t have to tell me. I’m a terrible CEO for FtB. I’m just not diplomatic at all.


  1. Artor says

    You should consider the tactics of Patrick White at Popehat. When he gets these emails, he leads them on and insists they write a piece about the creeping menace to society that is the Pony Horde! You can never trust a pony, you know. Dangerous beats they are!

  2. blf says

    Re @1: Yes, the allegedly junior members of Teh Evil Equine Empire are certainly a menace. They are almost as evil as peas, who are possibly some of the ones dragging teh hair furor trum-prat about by the nose.

  3. says

    It’s disappointing to see that we have not been able to (re)connect in the last several months even after so much outreach.

    Dog, I hate that disingenuous crap. I get that kind of glarp all the time, “Hey, I’ve been trying to connect with you…”

    In the past, I’ve used such things for stress relief. I got one spam once that claimed to come from the CEO of a particular start-up I knew. So I called them and asked to speak to the director of marketing, then told them that they had guaranteed that I’d never recommend their product because of their business practices. Then, when I saw the CEO at a conference later that year, I asked if their marketing director had mentioned our conversation…

  4. says

    I’ve had some fun with spammers in the past. For a while, I used to reply with a stock message saying “sure, give me a call” with the number of a 1-900- pay to call site. I wonder if that ever got any of them.

    Then for a while, I used to reply (this is very easy to set up in Thunderbird) to marketing spams with an email address from “A. Hoal” with a short note to the effect: “That sounds very interesting. Give me a call when you get a chance, on my mobile line: XXX-XXX-XXXX Thanks, A. Hoal.” The phone number was that of a guy who used to stalk someone I knew.

    With all the robot calls now, a lot of people don’t answer calls that aren’t in their contact lists (my iPhone does that automatically, yay) so such fun doesn’t work as well anymore.

  5. Cuttlefish says

    I am sometimes tempted to remind them that, should they wish to provide content to my blog, it would have to be in the form of original rhymed verse. Just to see what would happen.

  6. says

    pz will you advertise my book for me, i’ll
    I’ll write you into the book!
    For real though that reminds me, I haven’t checked my spam inbox in ages. Hm, yes, same ol’, same ol’. No, wait, there’s one about getting some Canadian medicine or something. That sounds promising!!

  7. vaiyt says

    Those are definitely automated e-mails, sent from bots that correlate keywords with interests. Not the brightest bots around, at that.

  8. numerobis says

    They are sent by bots, but if you reply, you suck up time from an actual human who is working for one of these awful outfits.

  9. Scientismist says

    Patrick and Sam are robots? I’m crushed. Here I thought PZ was promoting true love (which, as we know, is the most noble of causes). After they had followed PZ’s advice, I was expecting to hear of a followup communication about how Pat & Sam found their “Happily Ever After”. Guess I’ve been reading too many MM romance novels on my Kindle.

    Well, maybe the robots can get together to blave.

  10. narciblog says

    So does this mean the “Simple Trick That Melts Belly Fat Over Night [sic]” ad on this blog post isn’t on the up and up?

  11. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Ponies? I thought the big danger was from squirrels!

    Someone get Iris on this.