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Do Not Pass the Turing Test. Do Not Collect $200...

Charlie Stross examines the new, smarter spam:

On not passing the Turing Test: Spam: we hates it.... Sometimes it's a little hard to spot.... This one came up on an earlier topic (Where's Charlie?) half an hour ago:

kuaför malzemeleri | February 5, 2011 12:49 | Reply


the world's oldest person as of yesterday now lives a few miles from me in Georgia. Besse Cooper, aged 114 years, 159 days, (born August 26, 1896) was a former schoolteacher who married in 1924 and has 4 children, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 1 g'g'grandchild. She has credited her longevity to rtyh

How did I determine that it was spam?

Clue 1: The posting seemed suspiciously disconnected from the topic of discussion. In fact, it turns out to be a cut'n'paste job of EH's comment #52, earlier in the thread. (If I'd noticed the earlier comment it'd have been "case closed" on the spot, but EH posted his bit four days ago.)

Clue 2: The posting ended in random characters (A common trick used by spammers to fool Bayesian spam-spotting tools that identify duplicate postings).

Clue 3: The poster's email address "" does not match their user name "kuaför malzemeleri".

Clue 4: Googling "kuaför malzemeleri" confirmed that the name is a googleable term in Turkish.

Clue 5: Google language tools then translated "kuaför malzemeleri" from Turkish to English as "hairdressing supplies".


Anyway. I've noticed that some of you don't always use your real names when posting comments here. If you want to avoid being accidentally misidentified as a Turkish hairdressing supplies spammer, bear in mind the clues that lead me to diagnose that a comment is spam and avoid leaving them.

This lesson bought to you by Officer Friendly of the Turing Police.