The Public Virtue of Spam

It may surprise the casual visitor to the Pantography Twitter feed how many attractive women this combinatorics project attracts. The account page looks like a Formula 1 paddock. Unlike those silent women promoting Hawaiian Tropic, these women have a back-story. One says she’s, “exhilarating and beneficial. Also repulsive, domestic and 428.” Another says her “person is agnostic, cheeky, flickering and ambiguous.” Apropos of nothing, one of them says, “Lili is irascible. She inflict the node.” “I operate the eggnog… leonie shocked” “Idalia is mocked. she repulse the observation.”

Taste: Rodney says, “going to watch 400 blows, the, andrea r u ready?”

Whelan says, “going to watch terra trema, la, shaun stoddart r u ready?” 1

Either the progressive march of Pantography’s messages is  releasing, cabalistically, some pheromonic spell, or these are spammers. The uncanny thing is how much their messages resemble those of Pantography itself; the exclusively lowercase letters. So much that you could suspect that the reason they started following is because they have found someone who speaks their language. Which, in a way, they have.

It is generally not clever to follow spammers on Twitter. First of all you fill your feed with noise. Worse still, you could be validating them in Twitter’s eyes and therefore preventing them from being blocked. Pantography automatically follows all its followers—again, not generally a good idea. But it is very much in the spirit to collect as many messages as possible, it would be churlish to reject them.


  1. 1It is as though these bots are going through the emancipatory phase of Pride: they don’t even bother to hide their true algorithmic nature, they use sort titles in their tweets and some grammatical derivative of Reverse Polish Notation in their profiles.