in a Spam Loop
newsletters and ezines are popular sources of information for
a myriad of topics (and possibly a
spam loop). You can literally
find, and subscribe to the mailing lists for just about any topic
that interests you.
Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them.
Joining a mailing list is called "subscribing" and leaving a list is
Moderator approval is often employed to keep a high average quality
of posts and weed out spam, but there are a few moderators or
publishers who are more inclined to use their publications for
spamming their subscribers.
Unfortunately for us, these Spammers are clever and
less than honest.
This recent article by Dennis Gaskill is a perfect example of just how
unscrupulous SPAMMING has become.
Dennis included suggestions for
handling one of the nastier tricks used by SPAMMERS.
Caught in a Spam Loop
by Dennis Gaskill
I got caught in a spam loop a couple of times, so I'm going
to tell you about it so if it happens to you you'll know what to do.
First, let me explain what happened so you can recognize the signs
of a spam loop. A publisher, and I use the term loosely, decided the
best way to grow his ezine was to add hundreds or maybe thousands of
names to his mailing list without asking permission. The publisher
then sent out his spamzine to the list.
Naturally, hundreds of folks didn't like that, and they wrote back
with unsubscribe demands and angry complaints. This is when the real
trouble started. The publisher had his mailing list set up as a
discussion list. That means every spam accusation, complaint, and
unsubscribe request that was sent to this idiot publisher was sent
back out to the entire list.
This really caused confusion. Innocent spam victims thought everyone
was accusing them of spamming, not yet realizing that the replies to
the original spam were being sent back to the list. Then they
started responding in their own defense, which again, kept the loop
growing and making everyone involved angrier by the minute. You can
see how messy this can get in a hurry.
That's the point it was at when I came online for the day and
downloaded my email.
caught in a spam loop once before, so I recognized what
was happening almost immediately.
The first thing I did was
to go to www.whois.com and looked up the owner and web
host of the domain.
Armed with this information, I sent
a reply to the spamzine list knowing the whole list
would receive it.
I identified myself, explained what was
happening, and then gave the site owner and host contact information
so people could complain to the right parties instead of sending
misguided letters to each other.
It was about an hour after that, that the web host shut down the
offending site for violating their terms of service and the problem
was ended for almost everyone. Everyone but me. In addition to the
hundreds of message from the spam loop, I was still getting plenty
of email about it. Folks either wanted to just say thanks or ask how
I figured out who owned the site.
At least that was legitimate email, and the never-ending loop was
broken. It also created a lot of good will for my site, so it turned
into a blessing for me for taking the initiative to help put an end
to the trouble and confusion.
If you ever get caught in a spam loop, now you know what to do.
Remain calm, take positive action, explain the situation clearly,
give the offenders contact information, and wait. Most of the time
you will find you've done something good and worth the effort.
ezine - an online magazine or newsletter (electronic
** discussion list - an electronic
mailing list in which any subscriber may post comments.
On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the
mailing list to send messages to all the other
subscribers, who may answer or respond in similar
About the Author -
was written and copyrighted by Dennis Gaskill of
and is reprinted here with permission. Visit
www.i-webmaster.org today for
the best web design help, re-printable content, graphics,
inspiration, free software and much more
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