Blacklist weblog.cemper.com if you don’t want vaguely related TrackBacks

In: Blogging

7 Jan 2004

I’m deliberately making a point to let everyone know of my recommendation that they should blacklist weblog.cemper.com if they do not wish to receive TrackBacks that are only marginally related from the aforementioned weblog. I wrote about this before and I haven’t forgotten that I said Christoph Cemper “isn’t a TrackBack spammer”. That opinion still hasn’t changed because he isn’t a spammer in the conventional sense, as Jay Allen has mentioned. I also don’t want to begin a debate on what qualifies as TrackBack spam and what doesn’t.

I do, however, want to point out to anyone who chances upon this entry that Christoph has had a series of complaints made against him for his TrackBack pings. All are dismayed to find his entries from which the TrackBack pings were sent are minimally related to their own entries. Therefore, I recommend those of you with blacklist software of some sort like MT-Blacklist to put “weblog.cemper.com” into your blacklist to save yourselves future work in removing TrackBacks you most likely would rather not have.

At this point though, I’d like to make a disclaimer that this is solely my opinion and my own recommendation that you do so. You also shouldn’t just do what I say – if this issue concerns you at all, take it upon yourself to investigate the grounds for my recommendation. To that end, I have compiled a list of related weblog entries and links to start you off with at the bottom of this entry.

Christoph Cemper also addresses the complaints made in his entry addressing TrackBack Spam complaints. Another blogger, Camilo, wrote a nicely composed argument on Spam and censorship. In his entry, he questions the use of a clearinghouse as a form of censorship. I agree with him and have made it clear that it wasn’t my intention to censor Cemper.

To Mr. Christoph Cemper: Don’t take this as a personal attack. I just don’t see your side of the argument and as far as I can tell you are still doing it and annoying other bloggers.

This is the list (so far) of bloggers I know who complained (and links to their corresponding entry, if any):

14 Responses to Blacklist weblog.cemper.com if you don’t want vaguely related TrackBacks

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Jeremy C. Wright

January 7th, 2004 at 9pm

Hmm… Mt-Blacklist’ll block trackbacks too? So cool. I love Jay Allen!

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Cheah Chu Yeow

January 7th, 2004 at 10pm

Yup it does. In fact, my TrackBack ping was blocked by Ben’s Thought Crimes and Computer Toaster (2 blogs which complained about cemper.com).

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Josh Luth

January 8th, 2004 at 12am

Just thought I would throw my name in the hat also. My site is much smaller and less significant than those you already listed, but I got hit my Cemper also here, http://snarfblatt.blogdns.com/weblog/archive/000041.html

I don’t receive very many trackbacks as it is so I was quite surprised to find these two in my logs. I haven’t deleted them yet, I suppose I should.

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Lisa

January 8th, 2004 at 6am

Ok, I’m sure this will be a stupid question, but: what is the big deal with having a trackback? Is it a negative thing? I always thought that, when someone trackbacks you, it will mean more visitors to your blog. I was never that mindful of it before and didnt equate it with spamming. I really don’t understand this. If I see an entry I like and have a comment about it on my own blog, I might trackback it. And then blog about the rest of my day. ;) Never thought it was a big deal on the other end. (???) P.S: I just found you and am enjoying reading.. especially in reference to Mozilla. I’ve been experimenting with it myself. :)

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Cheah Chu Yeow

January 8th, 2004 at 11pm

Lisa: When someone TrackBacks you, more often than not it means more visitors to their weblog/site rather than to yours. This is because the default setup in MT and WordPress is to display only received TrackBacks, and not sent TrackBacks. You can, however, display the TrackBacks you’ve sent by changing your MT template (not sure about WordPress).See my comment below. That isn’t often done – trek around the blogosphere and see for yourself how many weblogs list their sent TrackBacks. Even I don’t do so, though I’ve been meaning to, because it requires some effort on the bloggers part.

On the other hand, a weblog sending a TrackBack which gets listed on your weblog benefits from traffic from your weblog. Not to mention more backlinks, and consequently higher search engine rankings, which subsequently drives more traffic. That is what comment spammers have been trying to do.

I appreciate a TrackBack if what you wrote on your blog is relevant to my entry – in fact, I really really want you to send me a TrackBack ping so that I know you wrote something that would most likely interest me. As people have mentioned, this is for the good of the blogosphere.

Anyway, all that is besides the point, whether or not it is beneficial (in terms of traffc) to receive a TrackBack. Even if the TrackBack sent does drive more traffic my way, I would still remove it if it is as vaguely related as Cemper’s have been.

PS. thanks for reading! You know I love Mozilla!

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Vinnie

January 9th, 2004 at 6am

I got spammed too when I wrote about Struts. Meanwhile, he trackbacked to an article of his that seemed copied straight from an advertisement.

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Cheah Chu Yeow

January 9th, 2004 at 11pm

Forget what I said about “changing your MT template” to show the TrackBacks sent from an entry – there is no built-in MT template tag that does this. You can however get David Raynes’ MTPingedURLs MT plugin like I did. You can see the effect about just after the “Related Entries” section.

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Anders Jacobsen

January 12th, 2004 at 10pm

Thanks for the tip. I got hit with some “random” trackbacks from him too…

On a side note I received 600+ spam comments last night (from 63 previously unblocked pr0n-related domains, all from unique IP addresses (probably spoofed)). If you want to jump ahead of these bad guys, I’ve included all the domains in my updated blacklist file available here:
http://www.jacobsen.no/anders/blog/blacklist.txt

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jenett.radio

January 7th, 2004 at 10pm

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lingosphere daily

January 8th, 2004 at 1am

And You thought comment spam was bad….
Well, since spamming has moved its way into comments on webpages, why can’t it go to trackbacks? You know, the stuff that sites powered by Radio and Movable Type, among others, allow you to do when you want to let…

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