I leave the comments open on this blog; no moderation prior to posting and I do encourage people to comment honestly. I often get comments that are blatant advertising (one good thing about Typepad: there is EXCELLENT spam filtering) or that are not blatant, but contain links back to sales sites. I delete these as soon as I find them. OSM has a very strict policy against advertising and endorsements (OK. I just endorsed TypePad, but it is not claiming to cure your Granuloma Annulaire). This policy has lost me some income opportunities, but I would rather maintain the integrity of the work and research than gain an extra few bucks per month.
And I really can't endorse stuff I don't use anyway
In the past two months or so, I have noticed two interesting trends:
- I started getting comments that reflected positively on the scammers. One or two people on a post might claim that a scam product had worked and their illness was cured.
- Several of the scammers have disappeared from Google; -both from the advertising stream and the search engine (Let this be a lesson to scammers that they should pay their bills)
The "positive feedback" received has all been for those disappeared scammers! Co-incidence? I suspect not. Some of my posts have been up for almost a year; -not a single positive comment. And then all of a sudden, I start getting "well it worked for me/my aunt/my boyfriend/my cat" comments on the scam posts. I am good at spotting patterns and this looks like a pattern -not a random happening- to me.
I am pretty sure these events ARE connected. I am not sure if the scammers are posing as legitimate people to post endorsements on this site, or if they were asking legitimate people to do so. My radar was triggered and my guard went up. However, on the basis of fairness, I decided to give these comments the benefit of the doubt and to keep the conversation two-sided. But I also decided to keep an eye on the situation.
Then last Thursday, I received the first of 10 ranty and barely coherent (comments from a person who claimed that one of the products was a miracle cure and I was somehow (singlehandedly):
- Condemning this person to a life of pain (like I had somehow given them the disease)
- Policing the Internet (Superhuman powers: I has them, apparently)
- Influencing people to steal the product from their mail; that misguided individuals -presumably in the Postal Service thought they could "protect" the Angry Commenter by taking their Scamaton before it ever reached the house. (Ha! I would LOVE to believe my charisma is so strong that I can make people I have never even met commit a federal crime!)
The commenter also made several arguments that had NOT been raised in that post (and I saw no evidence that the person had viewed any of the OTHER posts on scams), which raised a big red flag with me, and then they degenerated into abuse towards me; threatening to slap me, and wishing a chronic illness on me so "I would know how it feels" (Too late! Times three!). Clearly they have never actually read this blog.
I initially left some of their initial posts up, thinking it was maybe OK to air the other side of the argument. I do like to be fair and keep an open mind, and I have on occasion (OK once) gone after an organization, intending to flay them alive (figuratively, of course) and have discovered in my research that the are not half bad.
So I slept on it.
And slept on it some more.
And then today, when I was thinking about it. I realized that these comments are fucking endorsements! If I impose an anti-endorsement policy on myself, why should I break it for random commenters, who are probably in cahoots with the scammers?
So I went through and deleted all the positive comments about the scam products received in the past two months. Which was all of them. The scammers clearly didn't care about what was on here until they were in some kind of trouble with Google (I have been watching the search engine trends).
Now some people may say this is unfair of me, and I am not presenting a balanced viewpoint. If someone was helped by one of the products, why NOT let them post here? I have to say I agreed with that until today, but when Abusive McRantyPants started in on me. I thought fuckit. This is MY site. I make the rules. And if someone wants to (respectfully) contradict me,they can do it here. If someone wants to lavish praise on a scam company or scam product, they can.
But not here.
Find somewhere else to do it, because this site does not support endorsements.
If you don't like that, you can leave.