I have been receiving messages on an article that are slowly seeming like I am being trolled. The last one made me think it was true; when the person wrote that they haven't heard from me in awhile. But why would they hear from me? I wrote the "how to" article and responded kindly each time. Now this person has commented 7 times. I am not sure how to handle this matter. This person is not insulting at all. However it is starting to seem like "she" is looking for attention. I noticed also, in all the comments and thanks she has sent, she is seemly traveling all over the world. Some things are not adding up and this last comment about not hearing from me is strange. I have not approved the last comment that was sent to me, despite the comment being seemly innocent. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.
I think the interaction is a little obsessive, and that you would probably be better off not responding to this person anymore. The remark about not having heard from you is a signal that something isn't right.
I felt it was a bit strange, thanks for confirming that for me. I'm glad I didn't respond this time. I knew it was a popular topic so I didn't think much of it at first. When I received two new messages I first though, this is great. But then I thought it would be strange if it was from this particular guest commenter. When I checked the comments and it was this person, it took me that long to think something wasn't right.
Yeah. I would ignore this person from now on.
That is a little creepy
Creepy...I thought so too ( laughing) the part that was tough to figure out was I thought most trolls were mean. It's like I forgot about people who try to befriend them to make them open up and get information out of them. This is my first time being trolled, possibly, and it reminds me of how the internet can be. Like the ugly side.
You also don't know if it is really coming from the person you think it is. You never know who is on the other end of the computer. Be safe. God bless!
I was just posting to Janesix something similar, I never thought trolling could happen here too. A bit naive on my part, and not noticing sooner. I guess I was assuming that people who come to read articles wouldn't do that. Then it dawned on me of people who may stalk someone who as written something. Really anything where the person can contact you easily. Which is a huge sign.
Thanks for the all the help!
It could even be a bot. I've got hundreds of variants of these messages caught in the spam filter in my blog, all of them only slightly reworded by a spinning algorithm:
-- haven't heard from you in a while
-- I notice a lot of typos on this site (not bally likely when I see three in the comment)
-- what software do you use to make your blog? (It's at the bottom!)
All these messages sound like they were written by a human, but they are nearly word-for-word the same with synonym substitutions. After a while I wised up that it was just a way to get a comment approved so as to get the website's link attached to or part of the commenter's username.
You might have that bot targeting you. Bots can be programmed to respond and react to questions in a human-sounding way. Or maybe it really is a human troll.
Here's one of many interesting examples:
Psychologist Robert Epstein discovers his online friend is a bot.
And here's a more benevolent bot. I had fun chatting A.L.I.C.E. in the late 90s, just because it was interesting to see how artificial intelligence was coming along. And I programmed her granddaddy Eliza on my very first computer in the early 80s.
Bots are fine as long as we know they're bots, but unfortunately, spammers and scammers use them now to try to fool us. And there's a LOT of them out there. A recent study suggests 10% of all web traffic is bots, although I'm having trouble digging out from news articles whether some of that traffic includes searchbots.
I browsed your Hubs, Cara.R, and I think I found the one you mean. From what I see, this is probably just a very lonely person who has become a bit overly attached, based on what she perceives to be common ground and your kind responses in the past. Maybe someone with poorly developed social skills? That is, unless "she" is a bot.
I have had a couple of similar experiences - not on a Hub, but through other channels. The people were actually quite nice, but they just seemed more needy than I could handle at the time. Maybe I didn't set clear boundaries early on. Or maybe they were people who were unaware of boundaries. Or maybe I just simply got tired and needed to move on.
In both instances, I basically (eventually) said something like this: "I won't be able to respond much for the next ___ days/weeks/months, because of some other responsibilities I am facing." Then, I made sure that I didn't respond to every one of their communications after that, but I did occasionally. That worked for me. But I wasn't dealing with bots, either.
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