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The do's and don'ts of list-bombing

Yesterday, I had the misfortune of winning an argument with an idiot. I call it "misfortune" because after losing, he decided to "list-bomb" me by signing my e-mail up for about thirty or so different mailing lists. Naturally, I'm putting a bit of effort into making sure the idiot in question loses the internet access account he abused by doing so, but I also took a look at just how he did it (besides ineptly). I've learned a few lessons about list-bombing:

1) Don't sign people up for porn mailing lists. They're used to being used for petty revenge, and have probably also been threatened with lawyers over it, so they require the subscription be confirmed before they start mailing out.

2) Don't sign people up for religious mailing lists. Like the pornographers, they're used to being used for petty revenge as well and also require verification before starting the mailings. Also, they have their self-image for moral behavior to look after, so they're extra vigilant to not get tarred as "spammers." Some of them, such as the fine folks of ebible.org, will also log the IP address of the request.

3) Don't sign people up for tech newsletters. They're very clue-enabled, and know about list-bombing. Not only will they verify the subscription, but they will also log the IP address of the request. Thank you, Canada Pocket PC - User Newsletter, for doing the right thing.

On the other hand, though...

1) Do use Lyris for your petty revenge. Lyris is a manager of mailing lists, and as far as I can tell, their business model is based on having as many e-mail addresses as possible to send their mailings out to, not on actual interested readers. That means that 30 addresses signed up just to harass the recipients are just as valuable as 30 eager recipients. Therefore, they don't bother to verify subscriptions -- any address submitted is immediately added to their list of "valued subscribers," and (I strongly suspect) factored in to what they charge their customers. One of their bigger customers is apparently Novell, as 19 of the subscriptions I was signed up for were for Novell. Hey, Novell, are you familiar with the old saying about lying down with dogs?

I've already received word from iiNet, the ISP that the idiot used to do this, and they are investigating the matter. I eagerly await word from them that the idiot has been TOSsed out on his ass.


Comments (8)

"John" list-bombed you? Tha... (Below threshold)

"John" list-bombed you? That is so 1999!

I'm curious if, when his parents get a call from their ISP, they'll take away his X-Box.

I had a somewhat positive e... (Below threshold)

I had a somewhat positive experience after being list bombed once. Somebody signed me up to a swingers list.

I actually found it to be quite enlightening and informative. I stuck with it for a few months, until my wife stumbled across some of the emails.

Of course, I had a very good excuse. Damn list bombers….

why hasn't jmaster won the ... (Below threshold)

why hasn't jmaster won the caption contest recently? I haven't had my coffee yet, but when I do, I'll re-read that and spew it over the keyboard.... hilarious.

OneDrummer, One re... (Below threshold)


One reason might be that I haven’t been entering as often lately. And I haven’t really put as much effort into my entries when I have entered. Too much going on in my day job right now.

And who knows what the judges think? Humor is a personal taste, just like food or music. For example, my wife thinks broccoli in cheese sauce is a food gift from God. To me, its more like vomit from Satan. Who’s right? We both are, I guess.

I am also taking some baby steps to starting my own blog, so that is taking some of my time.

There is always making semi... (Below threshold)

There is always making semi-rude comments and putting the revenge email address into as many guestbooks as one finds. That is one of the ways the Algerian Scam schemers find their fresh email spam victims.

Woah. Looks like someone c... (Below threshold)

Woah. Looks like someone cleaned up the troll spew in this aisle since this morning.

Whups, wrong aisle.... (Below threshold)

Whups, wrong aisle.

jmaster, you too? I'm slowl... (Below threshold)

jmaster, you too? I'm slowly developing a flavor for my own blog. I've blogged political, religious, personal, technical. Not sure where to take it, but humor is in the eye of the beholder.






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