Trackbacks and comments and spam

According to Plasticbag’s Tom Coates, “trackback is dead.” I’m inclined to agree. If you’re not familiar with the concept, trackbacks are a sort of blog-to-blog automatic signalling system. If I mention your blog in mine, then your blog gets notified automatically and records that fact in a visible record. The result is that your downstream influence is made evident. Only it doesn’t work so well. Or rather, it works reasonably well, but is primarily exploited for spam. I’m turning off trackbacks for my site. It’s not much of a loss, since I only ever got a few trackbacks, but comments are also close to tipping over into the domain of not-worth-the-spam-hassle.

Mucking out the spam day after day is a noxious task. I kept thinking that spammers would eventually tire of buying new domain names pointing to still more Texas Hold’em poker sites, since the old ones are being continuously blacklisted. But no, they NEVER STOP. And they seem to be onto a new strategy that has me worried: the latest domain names are mild-looking places like My guess is that they are hacking into other people’s disused sites and using them as referral waypoints to their real sites. In other words, the domain names that I’m blacklisting day after day don’t even cost them anything. Which is to say, they can play this game forever, whereas I will eventually tire.

I’m switching to some stronger anti-spam filters. Hopefully it won’t cause my real friends and readers to be blocked. Please let me know if you have any problems posting comments.

2 thoughts on “Trackbacks and comments and spam”

  1. As for the economics of spam: I have heard legends on the net of how much spammer make, but now I know with more certainty what a ridicuous sum these jerks make.

    I have a friend that is the marketing manager for a poker/casino site. She personally has written the checks to “affiliates” on the order of $100,000 per year. She knows they are spammers, but economically she can not afford to not employ these guys. I am assuming these spammers have more than one site paying them off. It will never end, sir.

    I think she owes me a dinner to compenate for the spam I have received this week.

  2. Wow! Fascinating news from the dark side. It’s actually refreshing to have even a glimmer of information about how the whole scam works. Poker sites outstrip every other source of spam in my experience. Eventually they will bury us all. Until then, eat, drink, and be merry.

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