When I sent my last post out 10 days ago, I used my mail service, MailChimp. I designed my email, and hit the send button. And Voila, you got an email from me. The next day I went back into MailChimp to check on how many people opened the email.
Be aware…I can see who opens their email.
Much to my surprise my mailing list had grown from 108 subscribers to 267. The email addresses looked legitimate. Funny thing though, 155 didn’t have normal first or last names.
Oh, hi there, 5cbccba1dea9f 5sbssba1deade. Nice to meet you. Where are you from? How did you come upon my website to sign up?
On MailChimp you can check the profiles of your subscribers. In all these years I’ve never clicked on anyone’s name, because I already knew all my subscribers. But I don’t know who Mr. 5sbssba1deade is. So I clicked. Language: Russian. So I checked more names, all 155 were Russian. Then I clicked on their locations—Austria, Moldova, Netherlands (I didn’t check everyone). Then I started deleting people.
I was bumping off the Russians!
I am an Assassinator.
But the Russian Invasion kept me up all that night. Why me? What did they want with my blog?
Theory 1. They’re trying to learn casual English, so that when they invade our social media to try to steal the next election, they’ll sound like us.
Theory 2. They’re simply malicious hackers.
Theory 3. They’re Bots. Robots. One of the Bots included her photo—she’s very scary. I wonder if her image was stolen by the Russians?
After deleting 155 Russians on Easter Sunday, I woke up yesterday and there was a new one. And as of this moment there are four more.
Yesterday I wanted to contact MailChimp tech support, but since I wasn’t a paid subscriber to the service, I wasn’t allowed. My mailing list is under 500, so I’ve had a free account for the past ten years.
So I signed up…for $10 a month I can get tech services. After an hour or two yesterday, and a small amount of hair pulling and desk pounding, I figured out how to contact them.
Just this minute, as I’m writing this, I got an email response!
Chimp says what I have is “Spambots.” I don’t think it’s contagious. Measles are going around because some stupid shits don’t vaccinate their kids.
Solution (but not to the measles problem): Chimp said I did good by deleting the Russians. Now I need to add something to my signup form to block them.
So… to my writing friends, if you have a mail service, check your audience.
And if you find Russians lurking in your space…wipe them out.