Referrer spam – a possible solution?

Ok, so referrer (HTTP_REFERER) spam is really starting to get on my wick^H^H^H^H goat (does anyone say wick anymore?), so after adding the latest ip to by referrer spam blacklist firewall the following potential solution hit me.

Give the spammers what they want.  They want people to click on the links that they are spamming, so why not.   Sounds like madness? No, let me explain.

In the same way we report spam, ala spamcop or other blacklists have a site that you can report URLs of referer spam to.  Submissions would need to be checked by a list of moderators (perhaps in the slashdot moderator/metamoderator style).  Once a submission has reached a certain threshold – e.g. +5 posive votes with zero negative notes then the URL is added to the database.

The latest web addresses are then published in XML format / RSS feed.

Finally, we have a tool which reads these feeds and causes a single "click" download + all images on that page.   It might cost us 10-100KB of bandwidth, but it also costs the spamvertised website.  Now have 10000 or more people using the same tool, all clicking only the most recently advertised websites within 15 minutes of it being added to the database.

You’ve got a website killer right there… sorry, I mean you’ve got a really excellent response rate for the spammer – just what they wanted.

Workable? Viable? Illegal? Does anyone really care?

2 Replies to “Referrer spam – a possible solution?”

  1. Update: I guess it is quite possible/workable/viable and perhaps illegal.

    Someone pointed out to me; seems Lycos stole my idea ;) and managed to release a screensaver that does just this.

    I, for one, shall be keeping a close eye on this to see what the legal ramifications are.

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