In a previous post, SO YOU LIKED MY POST?, I expressed considerable ambivalence about the like function. There is no restriction on its use by spammers and trolls and various other troublemakers. Thus, the fact that spammers now like everything they can get at does not surprise me much.

Nevertheless, I am still somewhat puzzled by people who like what I have posted when I in fact know they don’t. I suppose they do it for the same reason as the spammers. By pretending they are what they are not, they want to bring unsuspecting people to their websites.

There is also another possibility. Frustrated trolls may just want to remind me and their other victims they are still around. That thought actually caused me to chuckle. The gravatar of one of guys I kicked off my blog refers to an Egyptian pharaoh. It is long time since that pharaoh been around.

So what have I learned. Be wary. The Internet is a wonderful place except when it is not. If we don’t recognize the gravatar, there is a good chance that clicking on it will just take us where we did not want to go.

Anyway, while it is thoughtful to “like” what others post, we should not expect anyone to click on an unfamiliar gravatar. If we want a visit, we must now do what a spammer can’t do and what a troll won’t do. We must leave a thoughtful comment.


  1. A lot of the time words escape me, for a number of reasons. I do understand what you are saying and I’d like to be able to get past the inability to comment for exactly this reason. But in the mean time I click ‘like’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I “like” some posts simply to let people know I’ve read them. Sometimes I just have nothing to say. Other times I like the post so I can track it and I may return in a couple days after I’ve pondered the matter.

    Some people do just casually leave a “like” hoping to get a track back. Others will “like” sort of as a passive aggressive notification that they’re watching you.

    What can I say, people are weird. The internet is like a peek into the human psyche and once seen it can never be unseen. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. many times I read posts and have nothing to add to it. Likewise, there are many times that I just don’t have the time to comment on posts I read. In either case, I appreciate the “like” button to show the blogger I have looked at the post and am basically in agreement with what is being said. Keep up the good work Tom. Lord bless.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I read your post and laughed. I don’t comment unless I have something to say. I am not much of talker in real life either. I press like on the post because I like reading and do like what I read. I don’t press like on the comment area much unless I think the comment was brilliant, lol.

    Thanks for another great post, :).

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I rather like the “like” feature. It enables me to quickly signal that I appreciate a comment. What I don’t “like” particularly are sites where the “likes” alter the sequencing of the comments. I find that hard to follow. I prefer sites where the comments are sequential. It doesn’t matter whether they are oldest or newest first. I do, however, think that there should be a clear sequence in the conversation.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. PS – I don’t understand your point as to how someone “liking” a comment is a tool for spammers or trolls. I’m not sure why that would advantage them.



    1. There are two entirely different aspects going on in Citizen Tom’s description. Spam-bots, automated software routines that randomly search the Internet with the goal of attracting visits to (often fraudulent) websites, have been programmed to hit “likes.” This is intended to cause viewers to visit the spam-bot’s linked site just to see who the “person” was who liked the post/comment/whatever. The same bots also leave inane, generic and often mal-formed comments about how wonderful the site is or how insightful the post — and leave the same message on thousands of sites.

      But over time, these spam-bots have become more sophisticated. The website of Citizen Tom’s and my mutual friend who writes as “No One of Any Import” shows an example of this evolution in “intelligence”:

      She had posted, four years ago, a post on conservative films. Not long after, bots descended upon her with generic comments:

      I enjoy your writing style truly enjoying this website .

      Another bot:

      I always was interested in this topic and still am, appreciate it for posting .

      The links in the persons’ name take you back to advertising traps.

      By early 2014, they’d become a bit more sophisticated — they’d been taught to echo something about the post:

      Amazing Article
      it’s Great Movie 🙂

      Of course, the bot does not detect that it’s referring to a list of movies rather than a single one. Also, the advertised “product” has nothing to do with the topic; it was advertising “tours of Bali” as an excuse to get your personal information and download malware through your browser. More recently, the bots have become clever enough to select a product and message that ties to the post:

      Very informative, thanks.

      I am shocked that so many health & fitness documentaries are available online for free! Some of these are very informative and inspiring!

      You might like one of this: Health and Fitness Documentaries

      … with a link to what looks like an advertised list. It wasn’t; it was bogus but was created on the fly to sound reasonable as it scammed people out of their names and as much ID as they’d offer. The English is still rough-edged. Similarly,

      Great documentaries movie in various topics, take some time to watch it, bookmark required.

      Later still, the ads are often even more on-point. But not everyone uses the same level of sophisticated robots. This one missed the mark:

      Today i spent 300 $ for platinium roulette system , i hope that i will earn my first $$ online

      Yes, that’s likely a sincere human. But months later, a mere week ago, the response is detailed and seems quite responsive:

      How many movies sites are there? I would say little million of them. But in that sea of websites it is hard to find one which you really like and enjoy reading. Just wanted to say really that I enjoy reading your posts and if you are in the mood for a little more movie action feel free to visit I am sure I will not dissappoint you guys. Watch movies in HD for free with no ads just sit back and enjoy. You will like it too I am positive :)))

      This person has the unlikely name “Hd Movies Online” — and if you click on the link, you get a nearly blank site that begins downloading malware onto your system.

      This is the effect that Citizen Tom was first addressing. I recommend killing such comments as soon as they appear, and configuring the system so that a comment from a new “visitor” requires approval before it appears.

      Mere “likes” strike me as less effective, but they work well enough to attract continued use. Since hundreds of millions of likes can be done in an automated process, it costs little. And once in a while, someone clicks on the link back to the “liker.”

      The second effect Citizen Tom wrote about involves real humans, who want you to come look at them. These will be specific to his relationships, including subtle attempts to draw attention to a site that attacks his point of view.

      I’m not seeing many of these likes, either bots or enemies, on Citizen Tom’s site. Far more common are the likes from people who simply wished to indicate approval, as several explained above including yourself. That seems harmless enough, and while I am not a Facebook enthusiast, this practice seems reasonable to me.

      Spam-bot comments should be killed. And bogus likes as well, if they are clearly bogus — but that seems worth much less worry. However, be advised that clicking on a link in a “like” notice when you don’t know the originator is risky. And avoid the sort of lame bot-spam described in this comment.

      Incidentally, to see the list of films and see the examples of bot spam, take a look at No One Of Any Import’s post here. Her posts are thoughtful and worthwhile, though she’s been distracted recently.

      ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Keith – I’ve seen that stuff, but didn’t understand why it was their. Now I even know what it’s called.



  7. When I have read something someone has posted, and I have nothing intelligent to say about it, or don’t have time to comment, it’s a great convenience to be able to click “like” to at least let them know I was there and I appreciated what they posted. That’s why non-WordPress blogs are so annoying — there’s no “like” button, so you if you want to let the blogger know you were there, you HAVE to leave a comment… and some of them make it next to impossible to comment. I gave up even trying on most of them, because it was so irritating to spend time composing a comment, only to find that it couldn’t be posted.


    1. That can be a problem. I suppose that is one reason I tend to habitually visit the same blogs. Yet when I visit a different blog, it is because they left a comment I like on mine or somebody else’s blog.

      Liked by 1 person

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