Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HOUSEKEEPING NOTE....As many of you have noticed, we disabled trackbacks here about a year ago due to problems with trackback spam. For a long time I held out hope that someday we'd be able to turn them back on, but I think I've finally given up hope based on a couple of recent posts which suggest that spammers have finally succeeded in killing off trackbacks for good. May they rot in hell.

Last night I replaced trackbacks with a link to Google's Blog Search entry for each post, so if you click the Trackback link it now takes you to a search page for other blogs that reference that post. It's far from perfect since it doesn't capture every reference and references don't show up until Google has indexed them, but on the positive side it's lightning fast. In any case, it's better than nothing. If I can come up with something better, I'll let you know.

Kevin Drum 11:32 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (13)

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You know, if a politician were to come out in favor of Roman Empire-style executions for spammers and whoever's responsible for putting these links to casinos and porn on my desktop that I can't get rid of, said politician would eventually be offered the crown three times. He could seize power.

Think of it; for all this talk about the rule of law and whatnot, I would throw it all away for a demagogue who will end all this nonsense. I just don't care anymore.

Posted by: BarrettBrown on March 20, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

The General uses Technorati, http://www.technorati.com , which seems pretty good.

Posted by: G. Jones on March 20, 2006 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Outlaw & executions of all forms of advertising & marketing. That should cover spammers, and go a long way towards making life worth living again in general.

But then they'll just increase their usual bribes to product reviewers and stuff like that...

Posted by: Adam Piontek on March 20, 2006 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Trackback script is broken.

Posted by: Taylor on March 20, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK


Posted by: La Brea on March 20, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

ooh, please, yes, la brea. send to tbrosz, thanks.

Posted by: elfranko on March 20, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

>Roman Empire-style executions for spammers

The thing is, looked at with cold logic, it's not such a bad idea. The trouble with harsh penalties is we mostly apply them to crimes of passion and desperation. But if you wanted punishments to really work, you would focus on rapid feedback for impulse and desperation-driven crimes, while reserving firm feedback for fraud-type crimes.

So therefore, the best way to protect society is to apply executions and such for Enron executives, corrupt stock promoters, arms salesman, spammers, virus writers, and dealers in endangered species.

Hmmm. Possibly best to make the punishments public. Maybe, one set of finger joints per year of working as a spammer, with the results slashdotted.

Wildlife crimes, we could cure and stuff their pelts (Is there a market for the gall bladders?) Fisheries poachers, I'm thinking creative ideas with hooks. Then, we just need to create a "Special Hell" for the Enron exectives and people who talk in the theatre...

Posted by: Bruce the Canuck on March 20, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

The most annoying part of trackbacks is not the spamming, it is the curiously insulting behavior of many bloggers that place the trackbacks themselves ahead of their own commenters.

It was a very precise way of telling commenters, your discussions are tolerated, but I don't care for the discussion as much as I love it more when I am linked by another blog.

Posted by: jerry on March 20, 2006 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to the constant barrage of paypal and credit card phishing, I just received an IRS phish. Could this be the point at which the powers that be start to care?
On the other hand, I wonder how long paypal can survive when there is so much paypal phishing - and some of it clearly copied from paypal's own security info.

Posted by: kevin on March 20, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

I use WordPress. A couple easy Plugins control both Trackback and Comment spam. Not perfectly, but they get 98% or more.

Posted by: The Commissar on March 20, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

aWol is turning the country into an Orwellian state and you're worrying about trackbacks!?


Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 20, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

"The most annoying part of trackbacks is not the spamming, it is the curiously insulting behavior of many bloggers"

I've been reading, lurking and commentating on many blogs for a couple of years now and it never once occurred to me to take it as an insult. I frequently ignore them. But if I pay any attention, it is because I am intersted to know who is resonating with what was just said, and perhaps also, what they are saying. So, a strong vote for indifferent-to-favorable.

Posted by: Buce on March 20, 2006 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK



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