BlogRush threatens cheaters. Is this wise?

This morning I woke up to a lengthy email from the folks over at BlogRush talking about the changes that they are making to their system. Everything they were saying in the first half of the email sounds great and I was happy to hear that they are listening to their audience and making some needed changes. Though, I think they have everybody's best interest in mind by doing a manual blog review for new registrants, I don't think this is going to solve their issue. It would still be really simple to register using a real site (in English) only to bypass the manual review and then load up the BlogRush widget on an exit-pop from an off-shore porn site. (just an example)

The second half of the email gives me cause for concern. Many years ago, at a previous job, we had a problem with some people trying to cheat our system. We started putting some additional safeguards in place to stop them. When we stopped any traffic that came through that was fraudulent, we put up a simple notice that said, “Fraudulent data, your IP has been recorded.” Within a week our system received dozens of hack attempts and DOS attacks. It was as if the fraudsters took our message as a personal challenge and they were intent on bringing us down. The email from BlogRush is far more direct than our message was. They are not just suggesting they will shut down your account. They are guaranteeing prosecution.

So for all you cheaters that joined BlogRush and had your fun trying to siphon off some traffic, hopefully it was fun.  And I'll go ahead and make this statement right now… IF you were one of the people that has been cheating our network I'm going to give you ONE opportunity…  quit now and we'll pretend it never happened.  I think that's more than fair.

BUT… if you continue after this point, all bets are off.  We WILL eventually discover what you're doing, where you're trying to send traffic, and we will prosecute you.   I GUARANTEE IT.   Sorry, but WE HAVE NO CHOICE NOW.

While I fully understand their frustration and I understand the point that they are trying to get across, I think the “attack” stance that they are taking is a dangerous line to be drawing in the sand. The number of script kiddies out there who have nothing better to do than figure out ways to mess with your app is immeasureable. While you may have the best of intentions, a direct threat like this may not be the best solution.

I'm very interested to see how things work out for BlogRush over the next couple weeks. It sounds like they are heading in the right direction. For everybody involved, I hope they haven't kicked a sleeping bear.

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1 Comment

  1. jason m on September 26, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    I agree with you that script kiddies are always looking for vulnerabilities. My only question is this: is BlogRush even worth it? From what I’m reading and noticing in my own stats, the traffic that BR sends isn’t all that great. I’d work on something like StumbleUpon if I were them.