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August 15, 2005

Reverse evolution at work again!

The Blogosphere is a most interesting environment, especially in the way it calculates the "rating" of a blog. On a recent Saturday this blog was rating as a "Large Mammal", on Monday it was down in size to "Adorable Little Rodent" again. The secret seems to lie in the amount of spam trackback garbage that Ozguru and the Monk have dug out of its archives.

A bit back I wrote that the Spammers were driving me nuts - well, it has taken a lot of hours and some tough decisions such as turning off comments after a week and shutting down trackback altogether to make an impact - Ozguru managed to dig out over 4,000 links to online gambling, porn sites, pharmacy supplies and even loan sharks and mortgage arrangers. Along the line we lost a number of links, legitimate or not, but we finally got most of the spam out - or so we thought!

This morning there were another 50 spam links attached to posts for which the trackback function had been disabled!

In themselves these are more nuisance than anything else, they clutter up the Guru bandwidth and slow the whole server down, but far more annoying is the fact that every morning I would open my mailbox to discover 100, 200 or even on one occassion 400 e-mails, almost all of the them advising me that "a new trackback ping has been attached to ...." or "a new comment has been posted on your blog". And when you check them you discover that "you are invited to consider information concerning ..... ".

Now I am fairly broad minded, but I do object to having my blog used to peddle prescription medication, porography, loan sharking, mortgages and credit services. If these people invested the money in actually advertising their businesses legitimately they would get, I believe, a far better return on their money and would certainly avoid making potential customers extremely angry!

In a sense this is a form of terrorism, one that overloads servers, floods mailboxes and generally annoys everyone at whom it is targetted. If we allow it to continue, the good purposes for which blogs can and are being used will be driven off the bandwidth - perhaps that is what is intended.

As an added complication I am informed that many of the servers which generate this trash, are actually owned and controlled by the mafia, the Chinese "Tongs", their Japanese equivalent and other related organisations who have a major interest in subverting the whole internet to their nefarious activities. Governments are almost powerless to stop this as most, if not all, are located in countries where they are able to "buy" protection and ensure that legislation which would shut them down or restrict operation is most unlikely to be passed - or if it were, to be enforced.

This is something that we will all have to get to grips with one way or another - or simply give up blogging! In the meantime I commend to everyone the effort and the exercise to get the spam out of their systems, only if we all take the time and trouble to do this can we ever hope to beat the spammers.

Posted by The Gray Monk at August 15, 2005 10:09 AM


switch to drupal at www.drupal.org, killed all my comment spam

Posted by: skipijack at August 16, 2005 04:09 AM