Picture this. You have an up and coming blog like mine. I pride myself on my PG-13 content, rarely straying beyond a S*#@ or a D#*@, and then not often. It isn’t professional. Add the fact that I do try to maintain “Christian” content. Several of my regular readers are pillars of our local Episcopal parish. Now, imagine a nice group of professional trackbacks at the bottom of your daily posting. They look good and prove your blog status is increasing. The nice church ladies click on one and, lo and behold, my reputation is shot to pieces. Not only did they manage to click on a pornographic site, but quite possibly that site involves questionable practices by persons who are definitely below voting age. Not only is the situation embarrassing, it is illegal, and could put a perfectly innocent blogger in legal jeopardy.
It is all because of trackback spam.
According to a blurb for the book, Inside the Spam Cartel, Trade Secrets from the Dark Side, "SPAM is a way of life that delivers an adrenaline rush fueled by cash, danger, retribution, porn, and the avoidance of local, federal, and international law enforcement agencies…” Spamming is a way of life that can be highly lucrative. Unfortunately, the problem with trackback spam is not only annoying, it can be very big business. It can also clog blog hosting servers to the point where the servers will experience slow-downs and even crash.
On March 20, 2007 Sophos, an Internet security company for business, issued a security warning about the growing nuisance and threat of trackback spam when a Filipino online news service discovered over 27,000 links to pornographic sites on their business site.
If you are an avid blogger as am I (shameless self-promotion) and are involved in any of the ‘link-fests’ for blogs, you are all too aware of trackback spam. The only way to eliminate it is to eliminate trackbacks altogether. Unfortunately, when you do that, you run the risk of drastically reducing those precious ‘links’ and hits all bloggers know and love.
It all began way back in September, 2001, (an eternity in the world of the Internet) when Ben Trott was unemployed and had some time on his hands. Mena had a weblog and wanted a better way of producing it. Within an hour after the first version was uploaded on Mena’s site, there were over 100 downloads. The Trotts realized they were on to something and founded Six Apart. The rest is history.