The Toddler Labor Spam Conspiracy


I have this theory that underworld international spam organizations are actually being manned by technologically-advanced toddler laborers working under pseudonyms. And this is why:


Determination.
Toddlers in the 2-3 year old age range know what they want, and they do not get tired for the asking. A smart toddler can ask "why?" or "are we there yet?" 400 times in succession and not get bored. They rapid-fire these questions in the very same way spammers send spam-- determined to give you their message whether you want it or not.

And spammers don't get bored, either. Why, this weekend, I had a spammer personally spamming my comments by hand (no computer program for him or her!), every couple of hours for a day and a half.

(I got some reprieve during bedtime and what I now believe was naptime.)

Each time he'd post his same spam comment, and each time I'd delete it. If we'd had an actual dialogue, I think it would have gone something like this:

SPAMMER: "Here is my URL in a random message that has nothing to do with your post! Enjoy!"

ME: "Nope. Sorry, pal!" (Delete.)

(Two hours pass.)

SPAMMER: "Okay, how about now?"

ME: "No. Go away." (Delete.)

(Four hours pass.)

SPAMMER: "Now?"

ME: "What about this process isn't getting through to you?" (Delete.)

(Naptime. Six hours pass)

SPAMMER: (Chooses a more obscure post to post the link on.) "Here then?"

ME: "Take a hike." (Delete.)

SPAMMER: (Selects a post far in the Cabbages archives, whining) "Oh, but why NOTTTTTT?"

ME: "Because I said so, that's why!" (Delete.)


Spammers can send you 200 spam in an hour, believing more of them will be more effective. That is toddler thinking for you. Consider how long a toddler is content to kick your chair on an airplane with their cute little shoes.

Spam is like getting repeatedly kicked in the small of the back with tiny pink Keds on a seven hour flight.


Inability to spell.
Children's Hospital of Boston indicates that, developmentally, a 3-year-old toddler can say up to 900 different words. This is all a spammer really needs to get the point across. And note how spammers generally can't spell. We've previously chalked this up to spam originating from countries of fewer educational opportunities across class lines, as well as English not being the spammer's native language. But I think this is, in fact, because many spam programs these days are being implemented by clever toddlers who got Hooked on Phonics and enjoy a bit of extra spending money for those trips to the toy store:

"Boss give hard time? Get new job immeditly now!"

"Be your one boss!"

"Cheep meds for u!"

"Goodiest Cristy Proposal!"

"Prequal ing Loans!"

"Faimilies Loose There Homes a Week!"

Toddlers aren't sticklers for accuracy. Whether it's coloring outside the lines, or general grammar, they're okay with it as long as they think you get the gist of their demands. How different is this from spammers? I think if spam messages were hand-written instead of typed we would see they were written in crayon and all of the Rs would be backwards.


Obsession with genitalia.
Pediatrics guides indicate that toddlers are naturally curious about their bodies, and if left unchecked, they may showcase this at the mall, or at your family reunion picnic.

Spammers are extremely interested in the human body, too. In fact, spammers are happy to share with you far, far more information about their interest in sex-- and genitalia, in general-- than you ever really want to discuss. Size in particular is fascinating to spammers, while we know toddlers also like to compare and contrast.


Self-centered behavior.
Development guides indicate that toddlers view their worlds from a lens that the world revolves around them. It's partially because they have not yet learned to share, or develop the emotional range needed for empathy, and also because up until this time, their parents have catered to their needs to help them grow and thrive.

Spammers are similarly self-centered. Your blog goals, topic, tone and desire to maintain quality are not important to them. Nor is clutter in your In-box. If your email crashes due to too many spam messages, well, them's is just the breaks. Spammers just want to drop their links, and they want to drop them NOW. That is what matters.

How different is this from your average pre-schooler?


So those are the main reason I suspect that toddlers are being leveraged by spam companies for elaborate spamming campaigns. I don't have any solid proof yet, but here's where you folks could help.

Parents of toddlers, if you see your little Timmy or Hannah on the computer doing what you THINK is just doodling in Paint, or playing around at Barbie.com, or watching Baby Einstein videos on Utube... double check that. Is Entourage, Thunderbird or Gmail mysteriously minimized on the screen?

Check the online Trash bin. Are there 400 email sent messages to a blind distribution list with a title like "Bye propertea cheap, good deal!"?

Now check the young'un's piggy bank. Make sure it contains only a small, normal amount of pennies nickels, dimes and quarters one would expect to see in a toddler's bank.

But if you see any paper money over a $50 bill that isn't blue or orange, send me a note, will you? Because then this theory might require further investigation.

This blog post was sponsored by the letter Q.

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13 comments:

Da Old Man said...

You mean all those secret "friends" who have sent me $1000 USD to spend at WalMart are spam? I've been saving them up, and plan to open them all one day and buy a boat or something at Walmart. I currently have $37,000 worth. If WalMart doesn't sell boats, I'll just go and clean them out of Strawberry PopTarts.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Well, let's just say I wouldn't count your Pop Tarts just yet...

Or lay down the downpayment on that Swanborghini you've had your eye on... :)

Tiffany said...

Never in my entire life have I been so tempted to drop a random gratuitous (and badly spelled) link in a comment.

Fortunately, there seems to be a physical blockage of some sort in my brain that will not allow transmission of such commands to my fingers.

Alice said...

I think I'm smelling the makings of a dissertation in this post. Very thorough research.

Cheap meds Cialis!! In Caneda border

Alice said...

Check your humor-blogs link at the bottom of this post too!

Jenn Thorson said...

Tiffany- It's the bad spelling that's the barrier. I suspect your meticulous brain would never permit such a thing. Joke spam in support of humor? Yes, definitely. Intentionally bad spelling even for the sake of the funny? Does not compute. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Alice- You might be smelling peanut butter and jelly, and fruit punch. It's the toddlers, I tell you. They're sticky with it!

PS- thanks for the heads-up on my Humor-blogs link. I'm multi-tasking too much today, I fear!

~*~Shadow.Crystal~*~ said...

Okay, you're awesome... there aren't many people who would be willing (or able) to sit down and analyse the connections between spam artists and toddlers the way you just did...
that's a special talent all in its own!

Jay said...

'This blog post was sponsored by the letter 'Q'' ROFL! Very good!

You know, you may be onto something, although I'm a bit concerned about the toddlers involved in this operation. They seem to know an awful lot about illegal prescription meds and dubious body part enlargement devices.

And why have there been no offers to 'by chep pasifires now!'?

Greg said...

I, too, was impressed with the research behind this post. I really think you may be onto something...

: ) (Did you see my most recent shout-out in your general direction? Check Sunday's meme post...fear not, I didn't tag you)

Jenn Thorson said...

Shadow Crystal- Heh, that is years of being in marketing where every single writing project is sent to me as "ASAP this morning." It is self-preservation. :)

Jay- It's mainly because while the toddlers are in charge of implementation, they're not in charge of over-arching messaging. That comes from higher up. Unfortunately, the toddlers face the same lack of upward mobility and higher decision making abilities of your standard workforce.

Though "by chep pasifires now" would certainly be an email that would get my attention. :) (That was brilliant, by the way.)

Greg- Indeed I did-- You and I were both on each other's blogs at the exact same time AGAIN! Go check your in-box!! Too funny.

Chat Blanc (aka Sandy) said...

Finally, all the reasons I don't deal well with toddlers! And spammers! :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Sandy- Well, see, toddlers we can just chalk it up to them being wee-little and not knowing any better yet. If the spammers are actually-- gasp!-- ADULTS who behave this same way, well...

Then that's a whole other batch of Gerber! :)