Woke up this morning to find that I had 483 new trackbacks on the blog. “That’s odd,” I thought, “Perhaps the blogosphere has come to appreciate my true genius. It’s about time.”

It turns out that it is only those who are interested in texas holdem’ and cialis that find my blog of interest. Of course, we all knew that trackback spam was just a matter of time. Unfortunately, since trackback and pingback are already automatic, there is no sense in testing to make sure that they are humans. I see three solutions.

The first is to make use of a blacklist, keywork, yada-yada solution. Boring, but probably the one I will take on.

The second is to create a white/greylist, using FOAF. If someone is more than, say 3 links from my social network, their trackback will be moderated. More than 5 and they will be automatically killed. Problem is that nobody really uses FOAF. You could fake it, using Technorati, but for a generalized solution, you would need most or all of Technorati’s data. That is, I would accept automatically trackbacks from blogs I link to and blogs they link to and blogs they link to[1]. Despite some difficulties in inferring the networks, I think this is probably the most workable solution. Trust networks are the killer app for social networking systems. This white/greylist social network system would work equally well for email spam-busting, by the way, since no one sends email to spammers.

The third solution is to start spamming all over the net with trackbacks that read “texas holdem” and “cialis” and link back to my blog. With some work, I could out-spam the spammers, relegating them to the second page of google results. Unfortunately, I suspect I would also become a pariah among the non-spammers, so this probably is *not* the way to go.

fn1. Oh, but I don’t have a blogroll. So there goes that idea!

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  1. Posted 2/2/2005 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear it. I got hit too. In fact, it was 1:00 a.m., I was ready to go to bed, and I could see the spam coming in.

    Best temporary bet: rename your trackback script. That will hold them off.

  2. Posted 2/2/2005 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Burningbird got hit as well and wrote about what she did. Maybe it will provide an idea or two for your situation.

  3. Posted 2/2/2005 at 6:14 pm | Permalink
  4. Posted 2/3/2005 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    got hit with the same spam: on a positive note, the stuff i learned here; the liz-Danah- Jason-social network, was pitched to a hospital system’s community outreach director who loved the idea of social networks towards developing cooperative health care teams. The particular hospital is a small community hospital that is being outspent in advertising by two larger hospitals that are taking away patients from a small, but closer nit group of care givers that actually provide better care. But how does one prove it, and demonstatrate the better outcomes, overcomming the advertising brainwashing?

    We build blogs!!

    lets see what the new CEO of the hospital says when i meet for lunch in a couple of weeks….


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