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, 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.


Yet another problem with liberalism
"Call Your Mother"


  1. basil December 30, 2004
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