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Spammers move from death to comedy

Last month, I blogged about an irritating trend in spamming -- filling the subject line of e-mails with bogus headlines about terrible events, including one allegedly revealing the death of Barack Obama, all in an attempt to coax a few more clicks. Weeks of additional murder and mayhem followed. But of late, I've noticed a new development in news-related spam, and it's far preferable: faux announcements that are actually kinda funny.

Two recent ones purportedly originated from MSNBC, but I doubt even the network that brings us Keith Olbermann was behind these updates: "BREAKING NEWS: Spongebob Squarepants Not Shrek's Father" or "John Mccain [sic] Denies Allegations That He is a Politician." (Okay, the second one actually is a possibility...) And just today, I received a note telling me that "Oprah Winfrey Enters Race For the White House As Barack Obamas [sic] Running Mate."

Of course, rewarding this comparative ingenuity by opening the attached links would be flat-out insane. But at least these items may generate a smile as you sweep them into the trash bin. -- Michael Roberts

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