I look upon the Internet as Manhattan circa 1974. There are museums and cultural attractions. There are hookers, scams and slime. Everyone lives together, though grudgingly at times.
As with the Manhattan of 30 years ago, the underbelly businesses on the net are constantly trying to gain an advantage – often at the expense of the legitimate residents. One of the ways we all see this is in spam. As the proprietor of a website I have additional tsuris. Today, a new one.
I think I have complained before of what’s called ‘comment spam.’ Scummy websites, which could never achieve legitimate ‘weight’ on Google, plant comments on blogs like mine. The comment itself might be as innocuous as: “Ain;t it the truth” or “I couldn’t agree more.” The comment isn’t as important as the fact that it’s accompanied by their web address. That address, appearing on loads of blogs, will increase their Google rank – a very valuable commodity.
I scan all the comments I get, and these spurious ones are gone in a hurry. I hope all bloggers are as diligent – though I’d guess they aren’t. A few days ago I woke up to find a few dozen of these, all from an IP address in Russia.
Now another parasite rears it’s ugly head. Today I started getting bounced spam email – email sent to addresses that don’t exist or won’t accept the mail for other reasons. Why am I getting these bounces? Because the spammer put a return address (nothing more than a random jumble of letters) that ends “@geofffox.com.”
Already, because of this spam, at least one website has informaed me that mail from this site will be refused! It’s a site I don’t care about, but they surely aren’t alone.
What did I do to get this honor? Nothing. I’m sure I was just picked at random as the spammers tried to hide behind any scent of legitimacy they could find.
I continue to say, unless email is fixed so it can be trusted, the Internet will surely die or lose its incredible promise.