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  Was this spam faked, and if so, by whom?

+ 2 like - 2 dislike

I got a string of what I initially thought were elaborately faked emails from Dimension10, claiming to show the other three other administrators in an actual Byzantine plot to plant this obviously fake spam message:

Welcome to 變速器! 變速器 a revolutionarry reformulation of solar wi-fi transmission! See for more knowledge on solarwifitransmission-reformulate.cn!

It's fake because the Chinese "transmission" is all wrong, it's the transmission of a car, not the transmission of electromagnetic waves. When I saw it, I was sure Dilaton wrote it. But in the email dimension10 says he wrote it. Who the heck wrote this nonsense? Who knew about it? Also, are we living in a tawdry novel?

asked Jan 29, 2015 in Conflict Resolution by Ron Maimon (7,730 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Apr 2, 2015 by dimension10

The spam is fake, and Dim10 says he wrote it. I can't imagine anyone writing fake spam, it's the most elaborate ridiculousness I have ever seen, but there it is. Stop downvoting it and answer the question please. The question "who faked this spam?" is four words that I am sure have never been strung together in this precise order in the entire history of the English language.

2 Answers

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

What? I didn't "show any admins in a "byzantine plot"".

The answer to your question can be found here. The spam comment is not fake, it was certainly real. Unfortunately, nobody remembers the exact comment, but it did contain the words "reformulation", "revolutionarry" (with the mis-spelling), something about "see more knowledge", the same url, and chinese characters which translated to "transmission" on Google Translate.

Yes, the original post forgot to mention that the exact phrasing of the comment is forgotten, so I edited it in (but not after you "pointed it out", maybe after you read it, in fact, you "pointed it out" only after I told you about it).

Edit: Here's the email discussion Ron talks about, in brief, if anyone wants to judge for themselves:

polarkernel - Is it a lie that it was really the spam filter which deleted the comments of VK? If not, do you have the actual spam comment that "reformulation" mention with you?

me - No, it was certainly the spam filter. I remember having placed "reformulation" in the censored words box myself, alongside the url (...), some chinese characters translating to transmission, and the funny word "revolutionarry". Do you or Dilaton have a copy of the exact comment?

Dilaton - Nope : ( I only have vague memories of it

me - Piecing together what I recall, the comment would have looked something like this: blablabla. @polarkernel You should include this in your answer. I will mention that reformulation was in the spam filter (I added it), because Ron doesn't trust Dilaton or you for some reason.

It wasn't dishonest, at least there was no intention of it being dishonest. I think Ron is simply over-reading it, that there was some "byzantine plan".

Admittedly, I probably used words like "fake" which triggered off Ron's "dishonest alarm". But seriously, if I were dishonest, would I have forwarded it to Ron?

answered Jan 29, 2015 by dimension10 (1,985 points) [ revision history ]
edited Jan 29, 2015 by dimension10
Most voted comments show all comments

@RonMaimon As I said, some emails were missed from my forwarding, and I've already stated them to you. You misinterpreted the "put reformulation in the censored words field" comment, too. As I said, it was really me who added it there, but I should be the one admitting that I put it there, and not polarkernel directly in the answer, because you would get cynical if polarkernel or Dilaton did so.

PolarKernel's answer is still completely true.

@RonMaimon Do you mean the first accusation? I thought you were talking about the email to me, my bad - anyway, the edit was uncorrelated with your comment, but of course I have no way of convincing you.

I didn't even take that first comment you wrote seriously (spam is seldom coherent after all).
@RonMaimon The silent edit button was checked by accident, sorry for that.

I suppose I understand how bad and dishonest it looks to you (especially because I incorrectly used words like "fake" in the emails, and more importantly because some emails were just missed out), but I'm not lying, to you, to myself, or whoever (I know there's no way I can convince you of this). The spam was not fake, I got out whatever I could recall from the real comment.

Actually, the "box" (quote boxes) were added by me to the answer, a little before adding that it's reconstructed.

(I'm not the downvoter)
@Ron As I've told you, "in case he checks" referred to the fact that I was sure that you'd make the big deal of the fact that there are still some other words in the spam filter (from other spammers). As for the rest, I've replied to that enough.
All right, my mind is totally at ease, and I'll remove the downvote on your moderation. But next time you coordinate, please include me in your coordination. I am sick of having to figure out what the heck is going on by detective work.
Most recent comments show all comments

@dimension10: Can't you see how bad this looks from my point of view? The post had spam in a box, claimed to be authentic. I could see it was fake, but I thought I would look crazy if I write "this spam is fake", so I investigated the Chinese (with the help of my wife), found compelling evidence, and wrote "this is not real spam" in the comments. Even still, I suspected I must have gone crazy, as WHO THE HELL WOULD WRITE FAKE SPAM?

Then I pointed out the deductions that lead me to this, and then, a little later, you add "this is not the actual spam" to the post silently (so that nobody can see you edited it), and I get a bunch of emails revealing that you actually wrote the fake spam, and that you all discussed what spam would convince me best, and who should take responsibility for claiming to add the word "reformulation" so as to convince me best.

I am sorry Dimension10, it isn't credible, you are lying to yourself, which is worse than lying to me, because when you start lying to yourself, you can't ever catch or correct the lie.

Since you are paraphrasing the discussion, I would prefer if you just posted it in its entirety. The most innocent parts are approximately what you said, but there was more--- in particular the discussion of how to edit the spam-filter keywords "in case he checks" (he meaning me), who should take credit for the insertion ("I'll do it, I'm the only one he trusts..."), and which chinese phrase to use ("I added this chinese from google translate..."). Since I had just managed to deduce myself that the phrase was gotten from google translate (somewhat laboriously, as it was the traditional character-set and the default is simplified), I thought you were making fun of me for suspecting it was faked. By faking forwarded discussion, which were my worse paranoid fears come true regarding the three of you conspiring together to write a fake spam. I guess not. I guess you three were plotting together deciding what to write to fool me. What a treat.

+ 3 like - 1 dislike

I've got a feeling this spam is connected somehow with physicsoverflow.com. Yes, that site really exists and has nothing to do with this one.

Translate the page into English and it's incoherent jibberish in the style of the spam message, although that might be a quirk of the translation software itself, but I doubt it. We really need to be asking who owns this other site, and why did they set it up in the first place?

answered Jan 29, 2015 by physicsnewbie (-20 points) [ revision history ]
edited Jan 29, 2015 by physicsnewbie
But physicsoverflow.com is in Japanese, not Chinese.
@dimension10 hmm, good point; could be just a bizarre coincidence then. The site was created 28/4/14; when was the first Chinese spam email received?
@physicsnewbie I don't remember when it's from... I'm pretty sure that physicsoverflow.com existed before 28/4/2014, I remember it was already present when we were discussing the creation of this site on TRF.

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