Bloggers always see lots of spam in the comments - particularly in the older posts. These days, we see a ton of comments signed by (presumably faux) Air Jordan, Uggs, and Viagra sellers. The signature is attached to a link to a commercial site apparently seeking to drive up traffic via the Google algorithm. When I feel the energy, I clean a ton of them out....but too often they live forever in our archives.
Recently I noticed some spam-like comments originating from law firms. Perhaps too quickly, I erased some of them. But here are two recent comments attached to Laura's February 8, 2008 post "Lawyers as Presidential Candidates". New York Divorce Lawyer - aka The Rosenblum Law Firm - writes:
Most politicians write books, and it makes sense because narcissists tend to like to write books about themselves, but they usually pay someone to do it and then send it as theirs. So they use the proceeds to go into status and money to win elections, a large war chest is important to win.
On the other hand, Tobler Law - aka Tobler & Associates (your accident and injury team) - adds:
Thanks for the post! I had no idea there were so many lawyers as past presidents - I knew about Lincoln and Taft, but the rest I was clueless on.
Now, I recognize that this might not be spam. Perhaps someone from Tobler was researching this question about lawyer presidents, came upon a two and half year old post, was stunned to realize that Richard Nixon (to say nothing of Bill Clinton) was a lawyer, and felt compelled to comment. Maybe Mr. Rosenblum thought this was the perfect setting to pontificate about the use of books as a campaign fund-raising tool. But call me a skeptic. I think that these folks are spamming to drive up their Google profile.
Is it ethical for lawyers to do this? Is the strategic production of spam comments a form of advertising? If so, is it in compliance with advertising regulations? Are there other restrictions that might make such spurious comments improper? Does it make the profession look bad?
I've pondered questions about Lawyers in the Yellow Pages, but I don't have an answer about this. I'd love to hear others' thoughts.