Sometimes you shouldn’t try to find out who your spammers are — The weird, depressing world of Boycott American Women

This is an actual poster from the suffragette movement, anti, obviously. (Photo courtesy of the History of Feminism.)

I get plenty of spam on this site, thanks largely to my own laziness. As you can see from the posting dates, I abandoned the site during the summer as I moved to a new home. So the spam comments — thankfully, not published — have been backing up.

Most of these are the same old boring stuff we all get in our inboxes. But there’s been one spammer that’s been particularly aggressive and … well … disturbing.

If you run a Web site, you might be getting plenty of spam comments — long ones — from someone running a Web site called Boycott American Women. The messages are, to say the least, offensive to anyone who isn’t a subscriber to Breitbart. And some of them might even offend the readers of that junk.

I’m a man, so I’m really not the most qualified to comment. I was also nervous about actually clicking on this spammer’s Web site to find out what it was really about.

Fortunately, there’s a blogger based in New Zealand who was braver than me, and who researched the subject much better than I could. Heather Hastie was getting the same kind of spam comments on her blog as I was getting and decided to do a bit of research. You can check out the results here at her site. Heather does a great job exposing just what this guy is up to.

The most disturbing part? If what the guy says is true, he’s getting a ton of views and subscribers to his site. Also disturbing? The comments that supporters of the site left on the blog post. It’s difficult to tell how real these comments are. Same for the Web site. It might just be the work of a bored troll hoping to get lots of hits.

What’s interesting, though, is that this spammer has been around for a lot longer than you might think, long before the election of Donald Trump, which would seem to have been a natural launching pad for such a stupid site. But this post on, of all things, a forum for devotees of remote-controlled airplanes and cars shows that the boycott guy has actually been around at least as far back as 2011.

This blogger, too, has had her own experience with this guy. As she wrote way back in 2012, he had been trying to get his Web site promoted on her blog for at least three years. That’s persistence.

The guy isn’t at all selective about where he spams, either. He’s tried to post his same spam comments on, for instance, the site of the Gypsy Carpenters. In case you don’t know, the Gypsy Carpenters are that rarest of all things, a traveling carpentry and musical duo. As the site says, “Burt and Susan Mittelstadt can help make your remodeling dreams come true. If you’d rather hear a song, we can do that, too.” They must certainly don’t seem like the type to support a boycott of American women.

By the way, here is what this guy’s spam comments generally say (He has a few, but this one is the most common):

I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

Now, you might just want to laugh at this guy, and he certainly deserves your scorn. But with what happened in Las Vegas, all the anger that’s popping up on the Web, on talk radio and everywhere, generally, has become downright depressing. Whether you like Trump or not — and I most certainly do not — it’s hard to argue that the United States has not become an angrier place after his election. I don’t know if Trump’s election has emboldened certain people or if the media are simply writing more about angry white people. Maybe a little of both.

Or maybe I’m just naive and the country was always this pissed-off at all times.

It does make you wonder why something as stupid as writing comics even matters, really. When 50 people are shot by some nut in Las Vegas, when white supremacists cause chaos in a university town or when the entire island of Puerto Rico seems to be dark, what’s the point of something as relatively mindless as comics?

I don’t know. But I do know that anger has become a good way to at least earn plenty of clicks on the Internet, especially if the numbers the boycott shares for his Web site are accurate, and that’s depressing, too.

Despite what this guy might think, though, what he’s doing isn’t all that new. Check out the same post from Heather to see a series of fascinating political cartoons from the days of the suffragette movement. You’ll be shocked seeing them today at how awful they are.

 

 

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