Will this reduce spam?

I think I remember hearing that there are webcrawlers that go round finding email addresses that are displayed on the Internet so that they can be put on spam lists and sold. Working on that assumption, I removed the email addresses and links from my homepage and replaced them with a gif of the address (no tags or link). Then I googled my address and contacted the few webpages that have it to ask that it be removed. (One of these pages is no longer active, but there is a cached version. I’ve asked that Google remove it, as it is nothing but a long list of email addresses.)

Assuming that my requests are honoured and my email address disappears from the Internet, will spam be reduced?

I suppose it can’t hurt. Then again, my favorite stories are Don Quiote and the Little Dutch Boy.

It will help prevent any new trawlers from obtaining your E-Mail address – none that I am aware of are capable of image recognition, and in any event it wouldn’t be practical to outfit them with such anyway. (The processor time alone, to say nothing of the cumulative bandwidth required, would be prohibitive)

There’s not much you can do about the trawlers that already scoured your address though. By now your name is probably on dozens of lists. It only takes one trawler who retrieves your address, who sells it to two friends, and they sell it to two friends, and so on, and so on…

Removing yourself from lists may work some of the time, but many take months to even get around to it, by which time your name could be passed off to several more lists (which is probably why they claim it takes so long in the first place.)

It’s all very insidious. I’ve set up many filters in my E-Mail client, but even that only filters maybe half. You just can’t anticipate how many variations of “V 1a gr-@” will show up in your mailbox.

Yes, so very true. One can only go so far with this. And, past a certain point, you can get things to where an unacceptable number of legitimate emails are getting blocked.

Also to add, that many of these spammers start with some sort of a “seed” address and then randomly prefix or suffix letters to it in the hope of getting other legitimate email addresses from it. Can’t count the number of times I’ve seen the To: part of the header not only include, say, jsmith@hotmail.com, but also asmith@hotmail.com, bsmith@hotmail.com...zsmith@hotmail.com.

The only solution I can think of is reprogramming SkyNet’s Terminators to only go after the spammers instead of all humans. I’d also think they wouldn’t encounter nearly the human resistance…

oopsie…the bogus emails turned out to be hot links, I am so sorry I didn’t think of this happening. Needless to say, don’t bother clicking on them.

My apologies. Please don’t spam them, they may be legit!

(Maybe the mods could disable the links and slap me on the eyeball with a we noodle?)

wet noodle. :wally

Dang! :wally