Sunday, August 07, 2005

Why won't gay.com do something about the spam bots?

I'm bored, so I thought I'd take a look at some of the spambots that are flooding the gay.com chatrooms as they so often do. Previously, I'd checked out the registration for inetmates.net. Doing a little more research, I've found one for hornydolls.com:

Registrant Contact:
sss
Edward Chretien (xxxxx@toughguy.net)
(413) 443-xxxxx
Fax: none
xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Pittsfield, MA 01201
US

This is a totally different name and address than for inetmates.com, but notice that the "sss" at the top is identical. That suggests that it's the same spammer, but using faked domain registration information. I'm not sure, but it seems possible, so I've removed the identifying information above, in case he really is an innocent party.

So lets take a look at some of these spam domains:

Domain IP address Payload site
icamsonline.com 81.31.38.5 ifriends.com
hornydolls.com 81.31.38.5 ifriends.com
inetmates.net 81.31.38.5 ifriends.com
camboiz.net 81.31.38.5 ifriends.com

Hmmm, notice a trend here? All the domains point to exmasters.com, a spam-friendly web hosting service in the Czech Republic. They all then link to what are presumably porn cam sites hosted by iFriends.com / webpower.com / clickcash.com. (Here is the iFriends SPEWS entry.)

All these domains are regitered through registerfly.com. From what I can find on Usenet, this also seems to be a spam-friendly (surprise) domain registrar.

So we've got a bunch of domains with probably-faked registration information, registered through a spam-friendly registrar, hosted at a spam-friendly web host, directing to a spam-friendly porn site.

The ultimate responsibilty here lies with iFriends. This problem isn't new (you don't get put into SPEWS for just a little spam); it's been going on for years. They do occasionally take down a spammed site, but the fact that the spammer just goes on and signs up again and is spamming the next day shows that they are not really interested in stopping the abuse. After all, this doesn't appear to be a site where people put up their naked pictures, but rather one that charges money. (I'm not sure, since there's NO way I'm giving them my credit card info just to find out.) If there is a financial link between iFriends and the spammer, then there is no way they don't have names and address, or bank account numbers.

Unfortunately, gay.com doesn't appear to be interested in stopping the rampant abuse of their system, the alienation of their customers, and the loss of their ad revenue. The problem is so bad, it's given rise to alternate chat clients that eliminate the problem: the gayboi.org client and Chattage. Gay.com is the only one that can stop the problem, and they don't seem to be interested.

5 comments:

David said...

Maybe I should check out Chattage, whatever that is. A few weeks ago Jean-Guy at Chat Client announced that he was entering into a partnership with — you guessed it — Gay.com to better integrate his client into their chat system. The new version was to debut August 1, but I've been using a Beta since then; that's all he has officially released. I can't really figure out where the integration is taking place, except for the little fact that, apparently, the unregistered version contains ads which are eliminated from the registered versions. I must admit that I don't have the chatbot interruptions others complain of, but even so... there's the little strange fact that Gayboi.org (home of Chat Client) has been offline for two days now. Wonder what that means?

Narc said...

Oh, that's terribly interesting; I didn't know he was doing anything official with gay.com. I noticed the website was down, but I figured it was just temporary. The Chattage response mentions that there were lots of upset postings on his forum. I figure he took down the website to forstall the bad PR this move made.

As for what this means about the chat client, I predict one thing: ads. Lots and lots of them. Flashing. Shallow. Annoying. Ads.

I was thinking about writing an email to gay.com asking why they weren't doing more about the spambot issue. From a business standpoint, it's terrible for them. Every person that uses the chat client is a lot of lost ad impressions. All the adbots also artificially inflate their subscriber numbers.

There is virtually NO contact information available on either gay.com or planetout.com. I actually listened to their last quarterly conference call, wondering if they mentioned the adbot problem. They didn't, but did mention lots of new, small "competitors" in the online industry. The response to gayboi at Chattage also mentions other sites, but was scant on details.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all, for saveing me alot of time and money. I have complained to gay.com and planet out and as you have said they don't care. they make millions off people trying to find...well i would say love or friendship but that is not allways the case either.but they still get what they want.$$$$$$$$$ so If you guys have any good ideas to fight this *%$# I'd love to know how I can help or join the wagon and boycot this site but they got me for a year. and i am going to stay optimistic I'll find the one but after that belive me I will be telling my friends not to join this site unless they enjoy spam and cam-jacking.

Narc said...

Gayboi.org is back up, and has a new version of the chat client available. Not sure what changes have happened since he partnered with gay.com though. That will help you avoid all the spambots, whether or not you are a member. How to meet guys that are looking for something other than a hook up or cam-jerking, well that's a different question.

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