Part of Maddox's post addresses the frustration this can cause among people who create original content for a living. It seems to me that this frustration drives a lot of the worst impulses of groups like the RIAA and MPAA.
It also seems likely to me that there could be good technological solutions to the problem, that don't require lawsuits and crazy new laws. However, there is no incentive for people to develop these technological solutions. Instead the financial incentives (in this case, ad revenue) drive tech folks to build stupid sites like Ranker.com.
Acknowledged: I'm only addressing part of the story here...the friendly "you might like this!" emails are ridiculous. It's probably some 20 year old making 8 dollars an hour sending them...the 21st century equivalent of the telemarketer.
Any extra steps to post content can mean the difference between something going viral and something remaining unseen in the dark corners of the Internet. I don't know if this is a good comparison, but this reminds me of the piracy study that said piracy was beneficial for sales. These lists are a way of "pirating"/distributing content, though it seems without any real gain to the original creator due to lack of attribution (that's where the comparison definitely breaks down). I suppose the two would be more similar if you could somehow watermark the content to somehow point it back at the creator
Obviously, this method is really annoying for a lot of us, but the fact that it works so well and is generating all that traffic, likens it to all that Viagra spam we get -- people keep clicking!
I don't know if there's any amount of technology that will help people gain common sense
A good "technical" solution might be a search engine that harshly penalizes these types of articles and the domains that host them.
- They send through mailgun.net.
- Mailgun.net doesn't include list-unsubscribe header, which means that spam reports from Google apps/gmail won't back to the sender.
- If no unsubscribe link is included, then CAN-SPAM is not being followed either.
So if you wanted to unsubscribe from this, the only way to do it is mail the list owner directly (in this case, Nicole).
- Mailgun needs to implement list-unsubscribe if they want to get back spam reports from ISPs that don't support ARF/JMRP.
- Mailgun should ensure their customers adhere to CAN-SPAM laws, which requires a working "opt-out" link.
He does make a good point. Cheap content is a big problem these days. Cheap content that can be easily copied by scrappers, that is.
Maybe this will force content providers to change the medium?
It's possible that someone is automatically forwarding a different address to maddox's inbox.
It'd be worth examining the SMTP header of one of these messages and tracing back the ownership of each relay.
In fact, if this is a US company, I'm reasonably confident those messages are not CAN-SPAM compliant.
I'd really hate to lose the "Best Page In The Universe",
maybe we can find something a bit more suited to your liking.
In a vaguely related note: I recently had a situation with an organisation that kept bulk emailing a plug for its conference and would ignore requests to eliminate all addresses using[mydomain].com from their database (they were sending email to aliases as well as actual mailboxes).
That's not a cop out line. For some websites, yes, it very well could be, but there is a legitimate purpose to it as well. Anybody can go on a website and enter "firstname.lastname@example.org" in the email input box for a subscription to SpamMePlease.com, even people who aren't Maddox. Putting that line in the email is a way of saying "you might not have done this, so here's a quick link you can use to tell us to fuck off."
You can argue that they should use a "confirm this subscription" email instead, but the two options aren't that dissimilar when you think about it.
Respectfully, I think you are entirely wrong: the two options are VERY dissimilar. In one case, you send them a single "Click here to confirm" email -- and maybe a single follow-up a few days later.
In the other case, you're continually marketing to them and putting the burden on the recipient to opt-out, usually in tiny text at the bottom of the email.
If you've already started communicating with them I guess it's probably reasonable to consider it 'blown' anyway, but I'm always extremely dubious of opt-out/unsub links for that reason.
I do, too.
Have fun with it?
I get emails for every "J" name with my same last name. At times I respond and get into a whole lot of mischief.
The US is a bit different from the rest of the world since US law (the Yes-You-Can-Spam act) requires that US-based spammers include and respect an unsubscribe link. Neither requirement is actively enforced, so the question of whether one can expect an unsubscribe link to work remains questionable.
Calling out HuffPo was awesome too.
about the spam: I miss the days of god-tier trolls SPEWS.
9gag and FunnyJunk are a whole different level of content farming.
In particular, Cracked at least makes a pretty decent attempt to make their (mostly original!) editorial content the focus of their articles. The "listicles" that Maddox is really focusing his ire at here generally have little to no original content at all -- the bulk of their posts are either "borrowed" images or scraped/stolen content.
Needless to say, they don't take kindly to people aggregating their content on other sites.
They get 8+ million page views on a good week.
Other lame content theft sites like Mahalo have been practically put out of their misery.
Personally I've looked over the data for a number of successes and failures and I don't believe the conventional story about Panda.
Adding the data in this article to everything else I know about Ranker just confirms my model of what works and what doesn't.
and select page views, week, and global they still peak at 4mm. Which is nothing to laugh at.
A few years ago some #$^%er sent a few bazillion porn dvd spam emails with one of my domains in the header. An amazing number of admins/folks like yourself actually reply to a forged address.
How is a tool supposed to know who has permission to do what? Yes, you can use heuristics to make guesses. But you're making guesses, you don't actually know anything.
He's using the number of other copies as a heuristic. But that heuristic fails when people want to spread their content, which is far less uncommon than he believes.
Though yeah, in this case I probably would have just filtered this particular list haha
Love that a Maddox page hit HN front page, though. It’s like a blast from the past, but new.
Edit to make this comment slightly more acceptable on HN: CSS protip: If you want to show Helvetica to OS X users but not Windows users who are lucky enough to have it installed because Windows renders Helvetica like shit, use this font stack:
font-family: "Helvetica Neue", Arial,
Maddox was funny when I was 12. I'm 22 now.
Your reply is funny though. Very.
I was going to say it all comes off as gradeschool, but little kids have it much more together.
You can however blame them for repeat spamming you. Blaming the list is just dumb.
Woah. Why not? Why can I not blame someone for doing a job that's a net negative to society? Why can I not blame someone for doing a job that's purely parasitic and creates absolutely nothing of value?
By that logic, I can't blame dealers for pushing crack to kids - because they're just doing their jobs. Or, more legally, I can't blame used car salesman for being lying, swindling cheats, because they're "just doing their jobs".