Digital Pointless is a cesse pool, but if you have a wet suit you can dive right in. Yeah, it’s filled with urine drinking monsters, but some of them look funny. It can be an interesting and illuminating journey through the bowels of the web. (I would recommend you to defend yourself with marijuanna, my dear reader, lest you become angry at the filth you see. The point is to spread awareness – anger by itself helps nobody.)
One thing that becomes clear right away is the spammers and scammers all have an angle to push. It’s a lot like prison. Virtually all of them make money through the web – in fairness it’s only the most prolific who use underhanded methods, but these are who stand out most. Because most of these schemes demand a sucker (it’s ironic that some are sheerly for the benefit of search engines and PageRank), web traffic is of the utmost importance.
Enter Stumble Upon. She’s the pretty girl at the party, but she has a reputation as being easy. 5 million users with diverse interests, and an efficient method of showing them things they might like means that a fun site is also a spammer’s dream. It’s pretty often I find someone on DP begging to trade Stumbles. Here’s how I deal with it
- Copy the message the spammer posted asking to trade Stumbles – a violation of the terms of service.
- Visit their site (ideally the page they’re “campaigning”) and give it a thumbs down.
- Review the page, and type SPAM, along with a link to the offending message. Beneath that, paste the message they posted into a <blockquote> tag.
Why? Spammers are invading Stumble Upon and other social networks to make a profit. The only way to make them stop polluting the waters, hurting the system for the rest of us is to remove the profitability. And to do that, we must expose their spam campaigns for what they are – give fellow users the full evidence, and let them reach their own conclusions.
When this happens on a large scale, Stumble Upon will stop being attractive to spammers, but still allow people to find quality information and entertainment on the web.
For fun, here are some other anti spammers
- Adam Senour – We Worship the Spam Gods
- James Lewitzke – 5 Ways to Piss Off Spammers
- A robot trap in case anybody sent a computer program looking for my email address!
- Parody of the world’s biggest spammer
Now forward this to 800 of your friends in the next 32 seconds, or I’ll steal your underwear.