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A Sphinn Spam Story

Written by David Harry   
Saturday, 29 September 2007 17:15

The gang at Sphinn had just as soon released an announcement about leaving Beta, and the Spammers decided they should go live as well.

While watching my reader this morning, I noticed a post at Sphinn that was titled - ‘ Finally, A Way to Watch Thousands of TV Stations Legally, without the monthly satellite tv expenses ’ and I tought to myself,  ‘WOW, is that ever way off topic?’  And so I went over to investigate, fully prepared to freak out at the uselessness of it all… To my surprise, it turned out to be a pretty nifty bit of web spam that had even gamed the system to giving the appearance of 40+ BS Sphinns …. A hot topic indeed.




I had to wonder though, what were they thinking? Really!?!  I can't see a ton of click through action, as it is obvious Spam, in a marketer hang out (we know a thing or two about Spam don’t ya know) – second, there is little hope of any link love.. and even if there was, not very topical ... as Lyndoman said in the comments -

"The question is, is it worth the effort. I doubt it. There are other social media places where you can do this and the link sticks. The problem with this guy is he hasn't worked out his effort/reward proccess."

So, did someone decide to game the system for the simply fact of doing so? For a good laugh? I Dunno…. sure hope it was for the latter, I would hate to think I am the only guy getting a laugh out of it....

Welcome the world of Social Media - Sphinn, great fun ain't it?

( ongoing notes below -)


ADDED: ... while still unikely to get link love - I once again give the floor to Lyndo's comment where he also said - " I think it does call for more mods though. " ---

I also wanted to add some comments from the Sphinn Board on this - especially Fantomaster who posted;

" ....... the link won't be sticky on the home page as none are - but if it takes more than say 24 hours to be removed, it's achieved what it could hope for, especially if viewed within a greater context. E.g. game Digg to push StumbleUpon to push Sphinn to push Propeller to push Reddit, etc. etc. Auto-referential daisywheeling, preferably automated, actually IS worth the effort when you're calculating page rankings in mere days or a handful of weeks at best. Which is what black hats generally do. A simple number game..... "


"........ it's a systemic issue, strategic rather than tactical, if you will: As long as links of any kind pass on traffic, link juice or anything else of perceivably monetizable value, they'll be targeted. Successfully.

The real irony being that behind many if not most of the shittiest, dumbest spam posts out there (anywhere, really) you'll find some of the brightest minds analyzing the system's vulnerabilities in a whiffy and slapping up solutions to game it. (Much like virus developers, in a way, though they're an entirely different crowd, even though their technical mindset may be pretty similar.)"

Sebastian added that " 36 minutes after submission it was sphunn by 42 new accounts. Looks like automation at least. I'm curious whether the standard pligg spam script will work here. "

Tamar added "when a story on Sphinn is discarded, the page can be reached from the URL but it disappears from the user's Submits, What's New, and Hot Topics. So yes, the URL still works, but the story is dead. "

Big love out to Michael - Matt and Danny from the Sphinn brew crew for also adding some perspective from the admin side of things. If anyone wants to read ALL the comments made over at Sphinn, here's the Post

UPDATE: Matt had a post about reporting Spam and I used the contact page... lo and behold I recieved a reply that it had been nuked.... very nice. Congrats folks!!


..big thanks to ya'll that commented.... fun to see a story grow...


..dats it… while I am at it, we all know I hate Lists and I also get peeved at folks that pander to the Social Media ... this guy did both with 10 reasons to use Sphinn .. where did I find it? At Sphinn of course -  A Sphinner, Sphinned his Sphinn post..... just great.  Now my HEAD is sphinning.... Ack!


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