Spam vengeance feels
May 9, 2001 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Spam vengeance feels oddly satisfying; a simple click costs spam software companies from a few pennies to a few dollars.
posted by greensweater (27 comments total)
stolen from memepool, props to tregoweth
posted by greensweater at 8:12 AM on May 9, 2001

cue manic laughter...

I feel much better after that.

Thanks for the tip.
posted by nedrichards at 8:13 AM on May 9, 2001

you, my friend, are a genius
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:16 AM on May 9, 2001

in the same category of sending in business reply cards of companies you dont like.
posted by brucec at 8:18 AM on May 9, 2001

Of course, by clicking their ads, you're doing exactly what they want you to do. Just because you don't follow through and buy something from them doesn't mean they (or their ad agencies) won't count the ad campaign as a "success" if it gets lots of clicks. In fact, in the twisted logic of the for-profit Internet, it will probably encourage them to buy even more bulk e-mail ads.
posted by Minneapolis at 8:28 AM on May 9, 2001

Minneapolis, the vast majority of spam you receive does not come from an ad agency. And I'm positive these companies don't measure the success of their campaigns by clicks, but by the percentage of people who are buying their product. Which, of course, will not be effected by this.
posted by Doug at 8:31 AM on May 9, 2001

Good lord. I about shit my pants this one scared me so much:
posted by howa2396 at 8:35 AM on May 9, 2001

G-ForceMarketing: taking you past the limits of success.

...into the immediate vicinity of failure.
posted by xiffix at 8:49 AM on May 9, 2001

You know, an automatic, distributed series of hits against that web page could theoretically bankrupt those people. Or at least cost them lots and lots of dough.
This post is going to be Exhibit A in my trial, I can just tell.
posted by lbergstr at 9:10 AM on May 9, 2001

i don't get it...someone wanna explain it to my feeble brain?
posted by mapalm at 9:13 AM on May 9, 2001

mapalm: search engine specifies billing for advertisers with a) keywords (in our link, "bulk email" is the keyword) and b) query result placement (the top few search results are charged more for being listed first). In this scenario, every click costs the top listed companies, what was it, like $3.50?

Not saying it's going to kill spam or change the world, but it feels pretty good knowing one click costs over $20.00 to spam companies. Of course, that money just goes to, but since the demise of idealab I imagine they need the money :o)
posted by greensweater at 9:28 AM on May 9, 2001 it...thanks, green.
posted by mapalm at 9:30 AM on May 9, 2001

Not saying it's going to kill spam or change the world, but it feels pretty good knowing one click costs over $20.00 to spam companies.

There's no way those bulk mailers are paying $0.50 to $3.50 per Goto pageview. Those rates are for people who click the link to visit their Web sites.
posted by rcade at 9:37 AM on May 9, 2001

ahh, rogers, you're right!! Well, a few clickthroughs ought to do the trick...
posted by greensweater at 9:42 AM on May 9, 2001

does a click, then a transfer interrupt count? 'cuz i just did about 10 for the hell of it...hahahahahaha!!
posted by mapalm at 9:49 AM on May 9, 2001

Right. You actually have to GO to the site for the company to get charged. And then, with the kinds of companies we're talking about, you're likely to get bombarded with pop-up windows and about 6MB of cookies. Be careful.

You know the people you really have to go after? The ones that send spam on how to buy e-mail addresses and send spam. ARRRGGGHHH!! "100 million e-mail addresses and bulk mail software for $50." Those people deserve far worse than bankrupcy.
posted by goto11 at 10:04 AM on May 9, 2001

This feels naughty. This feels very naughty.
posted by feelinglistless at 11:34 AM on May 9, 2001

Hmm, now would it be illegal to write a bot to do this, oh, say, 2-300 times a day? No doubt goto wouldn't think so, but gureilla tactics on the web is an idea who's time has come.
posted by Hackworth at 12:01 PM on May 9, 2001

I was thinking about the end result of using some of those infamous script kiddies programs to infect a few thousand computers that, rather than DOS attacking a spam site, max out their bandwidth and rack up a few thousand in hosting fees.
posted by cCranium at 12:10 PM on May 9, 2001

Hmm, now would it be illegal to write a bot to do this, oh, say, 2-300 times a day

Who's to say this is not already taking place? Sort of like the Pennysaver/Coupon Bouquet which gets thrown on my stoop each weekend but is never opened....NO MENUS.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:11 PM on May 9, 2001

Bots would be ineffective. Each transaction surely logs your IP address, and likely checks a cookie as well. Multiple clickthroughs would only count once.

A better way to multiply your impact would be to mass-mail the URL and the instructions in chain letter form to everyone you know and ask them to do the same... oh, wait... d'oh!
posted by krebby at 1:23 PM on May 9, 2001

See, it's that whole IP-tracking thing that makes me want to use various backdoors.

Either that or start an anti-spam@home thing. "Dedicate your unused bandwidth to wasting spammers'!"
posted by cCranium at 2:35 PM on May 9, 2001

There are other web-search companies that charge for clicks, and thanx to today's Cnet article, you can waste some more spammer money by search/clicking at FindWhat.Com and
posted by nomisxid at 3:32 PM on May 9, 2001

I've got five machines in my office and, thanks to a slashdot comment a couple of months ago, I've been hitting up the top few "goto spammers" daily.

Let's see: 5 x 60 days x $3.50 = $1050.00 bucks charged to a single spammer.

On average, the top ten spammers appear to pay about $2.00 a click. Note that these rates fluctuate. There may be an upper cap on how much a spammer has to pay for a single day's exposure.
posted by shinybeast at 4:05 PM on May 9, 2001 you were on the company dime when you did this, so you win again!
posted by palegirl at 5:41 PM on May 9, 2001

Dudes? We're going about this all wrong. We need to find the ignorant people who actually BUY this crap and keep these bastards in business. THOSE are the ones we should be turning on like a pack of wild hyenas. Beyond that, I've learned to just ignore them. "The only way to win is not to play."
posted by ZachsMind at 9:05 PM on May 9, 2001

I should probably point out that I got the idea from this Slashdot discussion. (I'd have posted earlier, but...I didn't.)
posted by tregoweth at 5:06 PM on May 13, 2001

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