Spam Competition

The JSPWiki sandbox is a wiki where you can try JSPWiki to your heart's content. All modifications are wiped out in 24 hours, and we've got all filters or restrictions turned off for the site.

Not entirely surprisingly, this has turned out to be a heaven for spammers. The site is of course not indexed by any search engines, and we have also the so-called "nofollow" turned on for every link, but this is not discouraging spammers from literally competing with each other in deleting the pages and replacing other people's spam with their own spam. A typical spam message lasts for about 30 minutes before it is replaced by someone else advertising something else.

So, spammers are effectively negating each other, since there is only one spam message in effect at any given time. So the "click window" through which your spam could possibly be located by someone is reduced to almost nothing - which means that you have to add more spam and faster. Which, in turn, reduces everyone's click window.

I never really thought that the wiki way would also work here - with spammers making each other less effective :-)


Wow, this is cool. Just from a physiological point of view it's incredibly interesting. Spammers must certainly realize everything you said about the futility of posting to the sandbox, yet they continue to post. It makes me think of mentally ill people who have no choice but to follow some compulsion. It also makes me think that perhaps someone somewhere is paying these people "per posting" without the means or care to track whether those postings live on and/or are effective. In that respect the "markets" are like the wiki in that the competition itself hurts every player. (I know this has been said about a billion times) But I can't believe there's any profit in spamming at all. Who is it that buys from random links posted in inappropriate contexts like a random wiki sandbox? Logically I think that someone must otherwise it would phase itself out, but perhaps that's naive. Perhaps it's so cheap to go around and post or have robots post that even a one-in-a-million hit rate is profitable. Perhaps this means we need to create tons and tons of sandboxes. If you assume that it's people making these posts (as compared to bots) and that they are a finite resource, then the more bogus sandboxes the less real sites they'd be able to pollute. Ha! We could reduce spam by 50% by just asking every site manager to install a bogus sandbox for every real url they put up. Hmmm, more on this later - call starkiss! Thanks Jan - Scott

--ScottHurlbert, 10-Apr-2008

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"Main_blogentry_040408_2" last changed on 04-Apr-2008 11:10:17 EEST by JanneJalkanen.
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