How do cyber-terrorists invade Authonomy, a writer’s site run by big 5 publisher HarperCollins? By invading the forums with post after post of spam links to live-streaming sports and other programs (less than half of the posts in the photo below are from legit forum users).
Why would the spammers do it? To rank higher with search engines by having hundreds of one-way links coming from a site used by thousands of people, even if the links aren’t getting clicked by the writers.
Who are the spammers: people or bots? Appears to be humans making very little money but hey, a job’s a job. And they were winning for awhile, filling the forum with so much spam that good people were leaving in droves, possibly being forced to do some actual writing. Thankfully recent updates to the forum’s captcha code and the work of “diligent admins” plus forum watchdogs have curbed efforts, although the status changes by the hour. It is our sincere hope that writers can get back to where they’re needed: the forums.
What are the “Authonomy admins” doing about it? Not really sure. Vacationing and forum avoidance mixed with some double-speak when they do appear has been their MO. Perhaps they’re setting everyone up for a grand surprise finale. Perhaps not.
So is it really safe to return to Authonomy? Presently there is no answer for this. Are you a glass half-full or half-empty type? On second thought, maybe it never was safe to be there–ala a monumental waste of time trying to reach the coveted editor’s desk when we could have been writing and self publishing wisely–but that’s another blog post.
For now things are in flux but let’s behave “glass half-full” as if it’s safe. Grab digital equivalents to yellow pads, pencils and erasers and come back to the site that helps writers beat the slush pile, or become authors, or complain about that not happening in a spam-free forum with thousands of others.
Personally, I’m glad to spam is gone, or going, or on the admin’s to-do list at some point. The place feels like Autho again.
Thoughts or comments? Do share.