Author: M.Prince (1 Feb 05 9:58pm)
There is method to our madness. In a strange way, the absolute best way to defeat harvesters would be for them to all start ignoring pages that contain a certain simple token. For example, how great would it be if you could put some unique word somewhere on your page and whenever a harvester encountered that word it would say, "Wow! This could be a trap, better not gather any addresses here."
So that's what we're trying to do. We leave a few breadcrumbs on the pages that are easy to identify but also easy for other sites to include.
But here's the kicker. We can pass an instruction from our servers to any honey pot to turn off (or replace) the grey box at the bottom of the page, or just about any other element. Already we've begun randomly turning off the grey box for certain visitors to see if it makes a difference in terms of the harvesting stats. As soon as we notice something happening where harvesters are beginning to adapt we'll mix it up more widely and let sites know what works at scaring the harvesters away.
This, like many things in the anti-spam fight, is an arms race. The nice thing about this arms race, however, is that unlike with filters, the good guys here are playing offense and the spammers are forced to play defense.
That's at least our rationale. We may be crazy, but that's what we're thinking. Let us know if you have any comments or other thoughts.