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aqme28 749 days ago | link | parent

There's a better way.

Make a crawler that follows your redirects. If it hits an affiliate page, you can presume (with some likelihood) that it's a spam link.

If you put in intermediate redirects that the crawler wouldn't pick up, there's a chance your targets won't either and you'll lose customers.



reginaldo 749 days ago | link

The crawler better be undetectable as such. For instance, it better send "expected" headers (User Agent, Accepts, etc.), and it better have cookies enabled, and also operate from many distinct and perpetually changing IP addresses.

Otherwise, the spammer will be able to run his/her own URL shortener service in a 5USD/month VPS and be able to show a spammy link to the users and a regular-looking link for the crawler.

BTW: a "crawler" implemented with Mechanical Turk workers would be a little bit harder to detect, but would also have its downsides.

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aqme28 748 days ago | link

"For instance, it better send "expected" headers (User Agent, Accepts, etc.), and it better have cookies enabled..."

How are these challenges exactly? Just set the user-agent and enable cookies. Done.

"...also operate from many distinct and perpetually changing IP addresses."

Okay. Change the IP it operates on every few days.

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