No game this weekend – though we should, of course, have been playing Southampton in the FA Cup – so it seems the right time to deal with a spot of necessary admin: how to combat a scourge of the internet age …
The aim of the people posting comments which appear at first glance to be genuine, but can quickly be seen to be bogus and probably generated by computers, is to produce artificially inflated stats for visits to their own, usually unrelated sites or promote Viagra, medicines or whatever else they are trying to flog.
Many Salut! readers will have seen my recent item on how someone or something calling him/itself Andrew A Sailer added such a comment to Pete Sixsmith’s excellent and moving tribute to Stephen “Squinny” Wilson, the Sunderland fan murdered outside a Bishop Auckland pub.
I have not the time to go through the many bogus comments that have already been posted at my sites, but I do aim to deal with these vermin-like creatures whenever I come across them from now on.
Accordingly, in you see a comment on a current or archived article that starts with the statement NB: I am a cretinous web parasite, and which may have had a link deleted, you will know that I have been beneath the Salut! bonnet and done a bit of tinkering.
If anyone else has ideas on how to block these peoples or things, without also making it harder for genuine readers to leave their welcome comments, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or in a comment below. Natural justice: Andrew A Sailer’s pernicious bit of self promotion can only now be seen if you opt in to reading it, since so many of you clicked the thumbs down icon that it now has the automatic note “hidden due to low comment rating” attached.
And if you’d like a reminder of how Pete recorded poor Squinny’s unjust and premature death, go to
* Rat trap photo taken, with thanks, from the Flickr pages of Rennett Stowe (as authorised by the Creative Commons guidelines).