[WARNING: Angry, angry rant follows. If you want to skip over the screaming and find out where this impacts you, just scroll down to the bold part.]
Spam is getting to be far more than just an annoyance.
Here on Monitor Duy, our comments get spammed all the time. Our trackbacks get spammed. Our message board was losing visitors because the spam posts were so constant. Dealing with this spam is just getting to be too much, even with filters. It’s just enough of a daily hassle that it makes this site an unpleasant chore.
And now, after a long respite, the spammers are kicking into overdrive for the holidays. I know this because they spoof my domain’s address. They find a list of established domains and send out spams that hide their sender’s real information by claiming to be from that domain. Thus the sender field reads “fred-at-fanzing.com” and “jimmy-at-fanzing.com”, the first name generated at random, and the recipient doesn’t know who is really sending it.
A victimless crime? Not when I get 400 e-mails in six hours all addressed to nonexistent fanzing.com users. I have to deal with all the bounced e-mails that I didn’t send, all the “I’m out of the office” notifications, all the spam-weeding systems that ask me to sign in before my original spam message that I didn’t send can go through. I try setting up rules and filters to deal with all of this, but legit e-mails always end up paying the price.
I don’t even get why there are spammers. Can there really be any people left taking stock advice from an e-mail from someone they don’t know with a subject line “Outbursts not incongruent” followed by a two page fiction story to mask the e-mail’s content hidden in a graphic? I recognize the principle at work here, that of casting a wide net and catching just a few, but I can’t believe it pays at all anymore. Yet spammers continue to be relentless.
Why can’t you see your comments on this site until I approve them? SPAMMERS! Why do e-mails to me get lost or not read for days? SPAMMERS! And why do I have to write “fred-at-” instead of “fred@”? Because SPAMMERS steal e-mail addresses from web pages.
Spammers take everything wonderful about the world and turn it to crap.
Spammers should be shot in the head…and I’m suggesting such a fast, painless death merely so that the proposition can gain a wider appeal. What I truly wish would happen to them involves ferrets.
Henceforth and heretoforthwith this site now requires a Typekey ID to comment. I’m sorry to have to do this, but as I said, spammers ruin everything good. The upside of this is that all comments will now appear instantly.
I ran this by you a couple months back and some of you said you wouldn’t get a Typekey ID. Your reasons are your own, but I wish you weren’t afraid of it. Here’s the Typekey main page, and check out the short signup page which asks for just a name and e-mail. Your information is totally secure, and once you’ve signed in you can comment more easily than before.
I realize some of you said you prefered the confirmation code box. I realize that it’s a satisfying alternative for the really desperate libertarian or those who crave total anonymity, but these things are at the very least a hassle and sometimes they’re dang near impossible to read. Every time I contribute to the Homestar Runner Wiki I have to squint and try to determine whether a line is an uppercase I or a lowercase L, whether the squiggly thing is a u or a v and whether it’s a small uppercase or large lowercase. FORGET IT! It’s ridiculous to install a hassle when Typekey is hassle-free.
The only downside I can see is that our most-commented-on-post ever will not receive any more comments.
Until we can hunt spammers for sport, this will have to do.