This week on the podcast, the Geeks discussed the movie Captain Marvel, a movie Watson accused me (and Jimmy) of not liking as much as they did despite the fact I gave it the exact same rating that he and Jenny did.
But I already wrote a review and a further personal reflection for this movie, both of which were posted yesterday, so that’s enough for me on this movie for now. I have something else to talk about, something that happened here that was something of a mystery that Ryan alluded to.
Yes. Mystery ads in old posts.
So, every so often I come over here, look over the hits stats for the day before, and sometimes I’ll see one of my old Simpsons articles will get a couple hits. Now, I’ve written over 650 posts for that series since, you know, there’s more than 650 episodes of that show and I apparently don’t go outside. Now, I might then click on the link in the WordPress dashboard stats to see which episode it is because, well, an episode title doesn’t always ring a bell. At any rate, a couple months ago, there were a couple hits to the write-up for the episode “Don’t Fear the Roofer,” and I had a rough idea which one that was but clicked on it to make sure. And then I noticed something weird.
The text had a few lines that led to a link to some roofer’s website in Florida.
Now, that was weird. Like I said, I’ve written a lot of those things, so I thought I might have written it in there as an odd joke since the text suggested Homer would have been better off calling those guys. I mean, I rent an apartment in New York. I’ve never done more than visit Florida, and I’ve certainly never hired a roofer, but, like I said, it might have been a joke I wrote and forgot about.
I deleted the weird text and didn’t think any more of it.
And then, last week, I found the same episode got two hits in 24 hours and took another look, and once again there was new text in there, saying Homer should have called a (hyperlink included) roofer that had the top in safety and low prices and some such stuff that made zero sense within the context of the article. I deleted that one, too, but then I saw an old Podcast Reaction column–and that’s really weird because why would anyone read an old one of those?–and it had some new text in there, ostensibly written by me, saying I used an Android Box to stream most of my TV due to its superiority to Apple TV. Now I did talk in that Podcast Reaction about how I stream most of my TV, but I certainly didn’t say anything suggesting the superiority of one streaming box system over the other, especially since I don’t use Android or Apple TV, and there was another link to where I presume you could get an Android Box or something. I don’t know. I didn’t click on it.
Instead, I checked to see who might have edited the post and couldn’t find anything.
And then I asked the other Geeks for help. Jimmy Impossible found the last person to edit the post was me in 2017. Ryan did some more snooping and found someone had hacked the site, created a new Admin account, and was probably responsible for the mystery ads. And considering the guys initially thought “ad”meant pictures and stuff and that wasn’t what happened, well, it took a few minutes to explain what happened. And since I don’t know how to cut and paste on my phone, and I was at work and my employer doesn’t really want me using the work computer for chat programs, it was a little hard explaining what happened.
But all things being equal, the inserted text often matched itself to what I wrote in a way that almost looked like I might have written it myself if it weren’t written in the form of blatant promotion for various products and services. If that was a bot, it was a damn good one.
Anyway, that’s…a story of things that happened. Is it interesting? Probably not, but I don’t really have anything to add about Captain Marvel right about now. I mean, theoretically, I had to put something here. Theoretically.
Come back next time when I may actually react to something from the podcast that isn’t a casual comment tossed aside.