Web abuse

Rideau Canal

Spam is terribly frustrating stuff, partly because of how it is inconvenient and partly because of how it is a cancer that wrecks good things. (See previous: 1, 2, 3) The ideal internet is a place of free and honest communication. Spammers create the need for extensive defenses and scrutiny which take time to maintain and diminish that openness and spontaneity.

If you think the spam in your email inbox is bad, just consider yourself lucky that you do not also have to deal with comment and trackback spam on two blogs, a wiki, YouTube videos, and a half dozen secondary places. There are even phony marketing bots on Facebook now: keep your eyes peeled for ‘Christine Qian’ and ‘her’ ilk.

In the end, while decentralized approaches to spam management are time consuming and annoying, they are probably better than centralized systems would be. With the latter, there is always the danger of the wholesale manipulation and censorship of what is able to find its way online, or be transmitted across the web.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

5 thoughts on “Web abuse”

  1. Just a quick word: while tirades like this may be emotionally satisfying, they aren’t exactly interesting for most readers. This stuff should be below the surface.

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