Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Interventional SPAM

I've been out of the country for several weeks, which is the usual explanation for by lack of posting. I was on a pleasure trip, or I would have posted from off. There will be an article about that later.

Blogs are easy targets for spammers, if you didn't know. That "Comment" field is a magnet to the unscrupulous who somehow think that bloggers will gleefully allow advertisements to appear on their site. Wrong, buffalo-breath. All but the least experienced bloggers maintain control over their comments and never, ever, EVER allow this trash to reach their readers. 

Most of this seems to come from a concept called "affiliate marketing" wherein someone gets paid for pushing someone else's product or website. Great idea? Not to me. When coupled with the power and reach of the Internet, it prompts the greedy to bombard the rest of us with garbage emails, blog-comments, and other bogus instruments designed to make us click into some site for which the spammer gets a penny or two. Or some fraction thereof. When you send out millions of these things, those fractions add up. These are mostly generated by 'bots, as an aside, a complete misuse of limited AI technology. But some might be human-borne...

Normally, I delete each and every SPAM comment, after reporting the sender and the advertised company to the appropriate places. Once in a great while, I shut one of them down. Today, however, I'm going to make an exception, and publish the SPAM comment as its very own blog-post. And the advertiser is NOT going to like it. 

Early this morning, I received this comment from "Ruben Fogg" on my RAD-AID article:

Ruben Fogg has left a new comment on your post "Giving Back: RAD-AID":

RAD-AID has literally hundreds of opportunities for everyone in imaging from physicians to medical students and residents, as well as interventional radiology chicago technologists, sonographers, nurses, physicians assistants, health physicists, as well as specialists in health information technologies and public health. If you have a radiologic skill, there’s a place where you are needed. Trust me on that. 

This miscreant inserted his advertising link into a paragraph quoted from the article itself. I find it rather sad that he chose this particular post, but spammers tend not to have much of a conscience. 

Against the usual standing advice, I clicked the "interventional radiology chicago" link...and it leads me to the advertiser, VIR Chicago:

Find an Interventional Radiologist at VIR Chicago

VIR is comprised of eight IR specialists whose experience in interventional radiology in the Chicago area extends over 25 years. We are clinic-based, but practice at and cover the Adventist Midwest Health hospitals in the western suburbs of Chicago:

Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital
Adventist GlenOaks Hospital
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital
Adventist La Grange Hospital
Advocate Sherman Hospital

Please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Chicago-based interventional radiologist team members.

Each interventional radiologist at VIR has been a leader in bringing this modern specialty to Illinois. All of our physicians have the highest level of certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties: the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Vascular and Interventional Radiology. At VIR, our interventional radiologist team participates in ongoing research and clinical trials and has authored many scientific papers and presentations in the field of interventional radiology. We have had several “firsts” including the first uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) in Illinois, the first placement of a flexible metal stent in a human in Illinois, and recently, the first fibroid embolization ever performed in a gorilla (see photo).

The VIR interventional radiologist team has three other condition-specific websites that we invite you to visit:

Uterine Fibroids
Aortic Stents

Seems like an upstanding practice; at least they came up with a good website. But someone thought it necessary to hire affiliate marketer to SPAM on behalf of their site. And that is a very, very bad idea.

I'm old enough to remember when doctors (and drug companies) didn't advertise. At all. It was consider gauche, low-class, greedy, nasty, whatever. That has changed, obviously. Our local news broadcasts are all sponsored by various hospitals, orthopedic groups, and chiropractors. The national network shows feature ads for various biologicals and chemo drugs that can only be delivered by prescription.

Clearly, the implication is that Health Care is just another product like cars or floor wax, to be sold with Madison Avenue aplomb. How do you feel about that? I'll tell you how I feel...I feel sickened. This is not how the profession should function. Clearly, the pursuit of revenue has taken precedence over everything else. Some will argue that patients need to be empowered and educated, and that's true to an extent. However, as with the issue of patients reading their own reports, their ability to assimilate the information thrown at them is variable at best. I personally see all of this, advertising and all, as attempts to decrease the influence and importance of physicians. And to boost revenue by directly targeting patients as customers. Is this why I went to medical school?

I guess I'm getting old and crotchety.

I'm not going to apologize for "outing" VIRChicago. They hired the spammer, I mean marketing affiliate. They wanted publicity. I'm happy to oblige.

If you’re interested, here is some information about the spammer...note nation of origin...

1 comment :

stacey said...

Medical school?
I thought y'all went to "provider" school. ;)