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download.com on Anti-Spam List

Started by on Sep 24, 2005 – Contents updated: Sep 24, 2005

Sep 24, 2005 19:22    

I noticed that download.com, the C|Net download site for freeware and shareware, is on the recent update to the Anti-Spam list.

It seems unlikely that they're spamming b2evo blogs. What's the deal?

Sep 24, 2005 19:55

20 b2evolution users reported "download.com" as a spammer. I was one of them. I couldn't believe it, but I had 4 referer hits from them in about 5 seconds. It makes no sense, but it was there. I even checked the page to see if for some reason they actually did link to me, but they didn't. Of the 20 reporters, 6 came after my report. There were no reports of foobar.download.com or any such variants, and 3 very old reports of blahblahdownload.com. At first I did not publish that keyword because, like I said and you obviously see, it makes no sense. After seeing that other users before and after me were also reporting it I figured sorry, but if that domain is spamming so many users it's got to be published.

I don't believe it was the people behind the real site that did it, but I had to go with the evidence I had available. 20 different reports, most of them blogs I know of, and my own personal experience combined with verification that they did not link to me.

Weird...

Sep 24, 2005 21:02

EdB,

thank you for the explanation. As you say, very weird.

BTW, to change the topic slightly, I noticed from our stats, that you ([url=http://wonderwinds.com/]wonderwings[/url]), [url=http://isaacschlueter.com/]Isaac[/url] [no longer b2e] and another b2evo site, [url=http://newestindustry.org/]Newest Industry[/url] all came to one of our company posts "No Aloe Vera Here" from your admin pages. All three referrer sites are in our blogrolls, but I don't remember being near that post lately, nor coming to any of your blogs from our blogroll. I generally read your site, and others, through an aggregator, [url=http://www.rssowl.org/]RSSowl[/url]. {Doh, someone else could have visited your sites from our blogs.} :oops:

My real [new] question is... In b2evo, if I visit a site on my blogroll [a linkblog post using blogrolling.com to generate the links] from a b2evo blog, will the referrer link be to an individual post? If so, where can I go to change that behaviour so that the referrer link only goes to the blog URL, not to a post URL?

Thanks in advance. And thank you for all your great plugins.

Sep 24, 2005 21:21

I remember that, and just followed it again to try to figure out your issue here. If I understand correctly you're talking about , from the no aloe post, your left sidebar first section in the Linkblogs bit - "feeds syndication". I see a handful of links to outside webs with a little permalink icon to a post in your domain. You want to have the text link to your permalink page instead of to the outside page, but after following that the visitor could then access the outside page. Correct? http://wonderwinds.com/hackblog.php/2005/08/07/take_control_of_your_linkblog MIGHT help you out a bit. It's not exactly what you're seeking, but it does a pretty good job of running through tweaking and tinkering how your linkblog is handled, so if you're into coding a bit you'll probably be able to take the permalink bit and put it where the "link to URL" field is being used on the post title.

BTW that hack goes way back to pre-dawn stuff, so there are no promises it'll directly apply. That's another item on a long list of items that is stopping me from upgrading right away.

Back to the keyword thing. I was thinking what would happen if a malicious creature decided to make someone look bad by spamming blogs with their domain name? In other words a spammer pushes YOUR domain all over the place just to get you reported and banned. Hmmm... Our method here uses human judgment to determine if a site is a spammer or not. We, of course, can't verify that the reported domain is the actual person who made the code that did the spam. Hmmm... I dunno. Just a random thought from a spam-hating brain.

Sep 24, 2005 22:10

EdB,

I'll read through [URL=http://wonderwinds.com/hackblog.php/2005/08/07/take_control_of_your_linkblog]Take Control of your Linkblog[/URL] in more detail. It looks like a cool hack. But I don't think it does what I was asking. I can be wordy and unclear - a bad combination. :-/

"Feeds Syndication" is just one cateogry in a Linkblog.

We've set up Linkblogs for each Blog, each with its own set of categories, and selected through the backoffice blog setup, as normal with b2evo.

One can enter a link in a category by entering a title for a post, and then using the "Link to URL" feature for that post. We've also made an ugly, bastardized renderer that allows one to add a link to a blogroll on blogrolling.com within the post. So rather than a the normal linkblog, the whole blogroll shows up from that one post, with the category name being the same as the blogroll's name.

On our own "to-do" list is to use your MagpieRSS hack to do this, but we haven't gotten around to it yet.

At any rate, what I was thinking is that, from your site's stats, the referrer link must have brought you to the "No Aloe Vera Here" post. Is it possible in b2evo, so that the referrer link that would show up in the receiving blogs stats be the blog's URL not the post's permalink.

In this example, someone was on the single post view of

http://press.teleinteractive.net/tia_life/2005/05/10/no_aloe_vera_here

and clicked on the blogroll link to

[url=http://wonderwinds.com/hackblog.php]EdB's Hacks[/url]

And you see a link to our post in your referrer stats.

Originally, I was thinking that it might be better for us, the referrer, if your stats showed the blog URL

http://press.teleinteractive.net/tia_life/

rather than the post URL.

But I don't think that's possible.

Back to the keyword thing... maybe if the keyword to be banned is sent back to you good folk who check the validity of the report, is done with the red circle-/ link "ban this domain", and you got the IP Address as well as the domain, an automated routine could be written that would do an nslookup of the PTR record, and if the IP Address of the spammer did not match the domain name being banned, especially for a well-known domain like download.com, it would help you to make a decision as to whether or not to ban the domain. Of course, spammers rarely use their own machines for spamming, so this would be of no use for lesser known domains that aren't obviously spammers.

Just a thought.


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