Lieberman Referer Spam
January 3, 2004 1:33 PM   Subscribe

Lieberman Campaign Referer Spamming? So Says Me Via Doc Searls I originally sent this item to Doc because I don't blog about national things anymore and didn't have a place to write it up. Of course, today I remember MeFi. As Doc passes along, the following appeared in my referer logs yesterday: - - [02/Jan/2004:18:50:27 -0800] "HEAD / HTTP/1.1" 200 0 "" "StarProse Referrer Advertising System 2004" Of course, Lieberman's website has no links to my weblog, and obviously, given the user-agent, it's StarProse's business to spam via false referers. I suspect it's targeting weblogs, since many include scripts which display recent referers. Since I don't have any such publicly-accessible referer list, it was only by chance that I happened to spot it at all. There is no way to know for certain, barring comment from the Lieberman camp, if this is their campaign or some random Lieberman supporter engaging in this practice. But it's slime regardless of the responsible party. Anyone spot any other presidential campaigns hijacking people's referer logs to advertise?
posted by theonetruebix (14 comments total)
There's no way of knowing it was Liberman exactly (I assume you can put any URL into the program), but here's the software. They claim it improves google ranking so I suspect they are going for bloggers with public referral scripts.
posted by mathowie at 1:41 PM on January 3, 2004

Curiously, this just hit my logs: - - [03/Jan/2004:13:53:26 -0800] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 51480 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)"

So either someone is spoofing the visiting hostname to poke me in the eye, or now the campaign is looking at me. *shrug*
posted by theonetruebix at 1:55 PM on January 3, 2004

"Web publishers are far outnumbered when it comes to referrer advertising and there is not much they can do." (StarProse, Referrer Advertising, Marketing or Spam, which is it?).
posted by eddydamascene at 2:32 PM on January 3, 2004

You'd be suprised who uses referal spam, anything from pornmasters (no suprise there) to pretty decent German, English and even Danish National newspapers clog my referral lists. *sigh*
posted by dabitch at 2:45 PM on January 3, 2004

For what it's worth, email from the Lieberman campaign passed to be thru Doc says it's not them doing it, and they don't want to be tied to it.

Here's what Doc quotes from the email as an update to his original post:

"I found your post a bit alarming since I have never heard of Star Prose nor do we have any desire to use misleading referrer information to drive traffic to our Web site. I am attempting to get in touch with Star Prose to get them to immediately cease using our URL and find out why they were using it to begin with."

That's from Michael Liddell, Director of Internet Strategy for the Lieberman campaign.
posted by theonetruebix at 3:01 PM on January 3, 2004

Article in NY Times the other noted with what seemed glee or humor that congress having passed anti-spam bill was now spamming the nation for political figures nonetheless. This would have bothered me but then I recalled that they also got themselves a wonderful health plan and nice fringes and constant pay raises and told the rest of us to fuck ourselves.
posted by Postroad at 3:05 PM on January 3, 2004

That's from Michael Liddell, Director of Internet Strategy for the Lieberman campaign.

director of internet strategy. man, do i miss 1999. or maybe i just miss my 1999 job.

/off-topic. sorry.
posted by lescour at 3:38 PM on January 3, 2004

Interesting - this'd be an easy way to perform some hostile campaigning. It'd be very amusing to find out that Dean's people paid for it...
posted by FormlessOne at 5:26 PM on January 3, 2004

if(ereg('Starprose', $HTTP_USER_AGENT)):

posted by quonsar at 5:43 PM on January 3, 2004

Lieberman was spamming a year ago.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:24 PM on January 3, 2004

q, I'm guessing the *actual* user agent here is either a bot, who wouldn't exactly care about seeing our friend Mr. Goatse, or some hapless Windows user infected with spyware. Though if there were some way of redirecting the referrer-spam sites themselves to goatse...
posted by arto at 12:53 AM on January 4, 2004

user agent here is either a bot... or some hapless Windows user infected with spyware

i realize this. let him spam mr. logs.
posted by quonsar at 1:57 AM on January 4, 2004

This is insane... In addition to all the usual porn referrer spam; tonight I received referrer spam from sharpton2004-dot-org.
posted by hatch at 7:26 PM on January 4, 2004

eh... I just got 16 referrers from today. should I be worried? ;)
posted by dabitch at 4:05 AM on January 5, 2004

« Older Note to self: Do not build summer home in Iran.   |   Elementary, my dear Euclid Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments