What's That Noise?! [Ian Kallen's Weblog]

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20081202 Tuesday December 02, 2008

Social Media Backlash Against Cheaters and Fleshmongers

As long as there is any media, pornographers will figure out how use it to purvey their wares. The other week, I mentioned on the Technorati blog that I'd been focusing on some spam scrubbing efforts, including removing porn. Apparently we're not the only social media service taking a look at the bottom line impact of miscreant activities. A few related items of interest percolated recently.

Social network service provider Ning announced their End of the Red Light District. The high infrastructure costs, lack of revenue and administrative burdens (DMCA actions) were among the reasons cited. Sounds very familiar, we get our share of that kind of pointless nonsense at Technorati too.

Today, YouTube posted that they were going to crack down or reduce the visibility of porny videos. YouTube's measures include

As expected in these cases, the trolls come out to cry foul. But this isn't about free speech or puritan ethics, the issue more closely resembles the tragedy of the commons. It's really very simple: these parasitic uses consume a lot of resources but bring no benefits to the host and degrade the service for other users.

Also today, Digg Bans Company That Blatantly Sells Diggs was reported by Mashable. Apparently Digg has directed a cease-and-desist at USocial.net's practice of selling diggs.

It seems to be an accepted truism that social media oft demonstrates, All Complex Ecosystems Have Parasites. Yep, I've talked to folks from Six Apart, Wordpress, Tumblr, Twitter and elsewhere. We're all feeling the pains of success. Over the past month at Technorati, we've purged about 80% of the porn that was active in the search index. Sure, we're not spam free yet but the index is getting a lot cleaner.


( Dec 02 2008, 11:42:34 PM PST ) Permalink
Comments [2]


I can understand why you'd want to remove spamming or repeated content on the technorati index, but you seem to be using "miscreant" to mean pornographic content and spamming interchangeably, without explaining the connection. Are you say that you recognise spam by its content (pornographic content)? Or are you saying that pornographic content has its own, separate, problems, which is why you're also removing it from the index?

Posted by Danny on December 04, 2008 at 04:12 PM PST #

Thanks for asking, I'll try to clarify. Not all spam is porn and not all porn is spam. But the majority of the porn found at the URLs that ping Technorati are spam characterized by exploitive and/or hardcore pictures, link farms, prolific but unoriginal content (or no real content to speak of) and affiliate links.

Posted by Ian Kallen on December 04, 2008 at 04:24 PM PST #

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