"The most effective way to combat Web spam is through community
action. Spam is a mass attack, and it cries out for a mass
response. If a community can work together to uncover behavioral
and content patterns of the spammers, it can share these patterns
to reduce the effectiveness of robots. The community is especially
useful in combating other variations on spam to which the workflow
approaches discussed in the previous article are not applicable.
First, I'll take a moment to describe linkback spam.
Weblogs and other Web articles are about sharing insights and
discoveries. Sometimes, inspired by an entry, people leave comments
directly on the Weblog. Sometimes they reference the entry in their
own entries or articles, and a linkback is a technical formalism
for notifying another site when you've linked to it. It's a network
signal, a "ping" that asserts a relationship between one entry and
another and helps readers find related content. But, linkbacks also
open up opportunities for spammers to abuse Weblogs, sending what
are called "spings" (short for "spam pings"). There are three
general types of linkback, and these all have their spam-related
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