If you want to know when new articles go
subscribe to the WebWord.com
a Spam Killing Community
Article by John
The purpose of this article
is to discuss how to eliminate spam through a community of spammer
killers. Why take a passive role in spam elimination and why use up
precious time and complex tools to track down one spammer? Instead, let's
create a community of spammer hunters to track them down and wipe them
out, using their own methods against them. Forget killing spam, let's kill
Everyone I know hates spam.
Wait. I take that back, almost everyone I know hates spam. Barry
Dennis loves it, but we'll ignore him for a moment. He is an
aberration. A freak of nature. Please don't hate him because he is
Spam is terrible for many
reasons. It eats bandwidth, it wastes time, it diverts attention, and
it is just plain annoying. If some people weren't suckers, it wouldn't
work. However, spam does work. Why? Because one out of every 10,000
people respond to it. It is like junk mail in that a super low response
rate is just fine because the costs are still lower than the revenue.
Thus, a profit is possible. As a result, all the good people -- the
non-idiots -- get hit with a ton a spam.
It is sad but over 90% of my
email is spam. On average I think I get about 200 emails a day on average.
Out of those, about 30-50 are legitimate. The rest are spam. Sure, I just
delete it, but it is a pain the arse because I have to do it day after
Stop Spam Before It Reaches You
The current attitude about
spam seems to be very passive. It is about filtering and reducing
and blocking. People talk about killing spam before it reaches
their inbox. Here are some examples:
Along similar lines, many
people use software products and services to eliminate spam. Here are some
popular products that folks are using:
This passive attitude really
bothers me. Yet at the same time, I usually just delete my spam and move
along. What a shame. The passive attitude just reinforces the cycle and
leads to more spam.
Actively Fight Spam
Let's think about this
situation for a moment. What I am saying is that the basic attitude is
that spam is bad and spam is wrong. People don't like it, but they feel
powerless to stop it. So, they try to stop it from reaching them. Out of
sight, out of mind. Only rarely do people actually get mad at the real
cause of spam -- the spammers!
Fortunately, there are geeks
out there that have developed tools
for tracking down the scum that send spam. But, unfortunately, doing this
takes time and energy. It is generally a personal battle and the rewards
are not high. One reason why people like the filtering tools is that they
don't require much work. Put them in place and relax, for the most part.
Active tools require action. Many of us don't have time and some of us are
To summarize, passively
filtering spam is lame. It just tells spammers that they can continue
to spam. Actively fighting spam is too hard and takes too much time. It
doesn't eliminate spammers effectively because it is too narrow and
limited. Of course, there is legislation, but as we all know, it is
I propose a simple solution
to the spam problem. To my knowledge, this approach hasn't been explained
or explored. If I am wrong please correct me. I'd be happy to give someone
credit for the idea.
Here it is:
- Form a community of
- People that join the club
submit spam as they get it.
- People in the club figure
out the actual contact information of the spammer.
- Everyone in the community
attacks the spammer using spammer tools.
Step one isn't anything
amazing. I propose that we set up a simple community with a web
site, bulletin board, chat room, and email discussion list. Perhaps it is
a closed group where you can only join by invitation. I'd be happy to be a
Step two does require some
action, but it doesn't require sleuthing of incredible amounts of work.
Most members of the community submit spam and then the hunters kick
For step three, spammer
hunters can either use the tools and techniques mentioned above, or they
use social engineering techniques to get the actual web address, email
address, phone number, and perhaps postal address of the spammer. In some
cases, technology can be used to track down the culprit. In other cases,
the spammer hunters simply respond to the spam request. Behind every
piece of spam there is a person that wants to make money. That means
that they must have a way to be reached. They can't hide too much or they
can't collect your money.
Step four is the fun step.
Once the spammer hunters find the legitimate contact information for the
spammer, the community unleashes on them. Denial
of service attacks, repeated phone calls, tons of postal mail, and
more. To be honest, I really like the idea of hitting a spam web site so
hard that it crashes. I also like the idea of filling up a spammers email
I admit that this plan needs
refinement and I already see some flaws. For example, spammers can change
their contact information very quickly. Also, there might be occasional
false positives where innocent people get attacked by this spam killing
They idea is out there now
for everyone to see. I'm sure we can refine it and make this work. Yes
folks, I think we can eliminate spammers. If we eliminate spammers, we
eliminate spam. That's the trick and that is what we need to do.
Please send them to me: email@example.com
I want to know what you think about this article.