There is a person somewhere in the world whose job it is to create an account on CodePen and create a bunch of spam Pens (we call a demo that you build on CodePen with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript a “Pen”). They look like “landing pages” full of cheesy stock photography, keyword ridden text, and huge buttons. They link to nefarious places to buy prescription drugs illegally or apply for a payday loan.

When I’m particularly frustrated, I think about changing my opinion on the death penalty. This asshole is using my software, which I work so hard at making awesome, to cheat and steal from others.

And not only are they trying to hurt others, they hurt me. Their spam puts CodePen at risk of Google thinking it’s a spam farm and displaying nasty warnings when people come there and removing us from search results. A devastating blow for any website.

And not only are they hurting others and me, they are hurting my team. All of us want CodePen to succeed because we believe in it, but we also need it to succeed because we’re trying to make a good life for ourselves and not succeeding means taking a step back.

And not only are they hurting others, me, and my team, they are hurting the internet. Think of how much better the internet would be if so many smart people didn’t constantly have to spend so much time and mental effort battling nefarious crap like spam and online fraud. Straight up, it would be better. Information would be easier to find, at least.

So this asshole is basically roundhouse kicking everything in my life that I love. And for that they should die.

But then I’m having a better day and new thoughts replace those murderous ones. Surely life is quite hard where this spammer lives. Maybe getting a job at the spam factory is the only way they can feed their family. They are just clicking some buttons and hitting some keys — how bad is that really? Certainly it’s not as bad as their cousin who shovels industrial waste into the river.

And here I am, with my great life in my happy home on my high horse thinking awful things about them. Should I just shut up and deal with it? Or are these really terrible people who need a dose of wrath? Or is there some middle ground? I wish I knew how to do life good.

Originally published at The Pastry Box Project.


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12 responses to “Spam”

  1. stan says:

    you idiot ))

  2. Hans says:

    Good stuff, great ending sentence. Leeching off of other people’s hard work to con the innocent, and capitalize on the unsuspecting is wrong, no matter how many bowls of dirty water you have to drink to avoid it.

  3. david says:

    That indeed sucks. I had a guy coming over at my blog posting nonsense and it wasn’t a bot, since I implemented various spam filters which user had to manually solve in order to post anything. I actually wen’t and read few of his entries and dude always started with something related to post at hand then somewhere in the middle of it he went and talked about… well spammy topics.

    Some people just have too much time on their hands.

    Anyway, Codepen rocks :)

  4. JB says:

    Confucius said :

    “If you have a letterbox –
    At some point,
    Someone will piss through it”

    I’m paraphrasing though.

    Codepen is great.

  5. Dare says:

    Honestly, spammers should be thrown out of this world. They are annoying beings with self interest.

    Infact, despite capthca plugins, secure spam plugins on my blog, these assholes still find a way of polluting my blog. It’s high time we come up with a solution to eradicate their precarious attitudes.

  6. Ian says:

    Dude, why not remove the ability to post to external links from inside a pen; I can’t see why you would need to link *out* of a Pen.

  7. Brodey says:

    I agree with Ian, You could easily blog external linking, I mean in what pen would you ever need to link out from? other then getting documents like javascript and libraries?

  8. Faysal Shahi says:

    Chris Coyier You Made it…

  9. Veeraj says:

    Codepen is simple awesome .
    You are doing great .

  10. Doesn’t makes sense, if someone kills for a living, it can’t still be justified. Spam is a waste of time for admins and others who can do productive work in that time. Sometimes its so frustrating that I don’t even want to look at a genuine message.

  11. Nate Balcom says:

    I feel your pain sir. Spammers are the worst. It would be nice to not have to worry about blocking their efforts. When they start messing with your search listings it becomes personal. I agree they should be shot.

  12. avadhesh says:

    codePen is just awsome .
    and yupp!!!! i too hate spam :x

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