Cyber Terrorism vs Authonomy, The Spam Wars

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).

Authonomy Cyber Terrorism Spam WarsBut isn’t the website for writers with unpublished books, seeking critiques and publishing representation? Err, yes it is, but the forums are quite active there and fun too.

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.

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8 Responses to “Cyber Terrorism vs Authonomy, The Spam Wars”

  1. marykate77 Says:

    see the spam invaders were the perfect excuse to go and do some writing. Today I have been back on the forums, chitter chatting the hours away while my book languishes.. Ah dear..

  2. authorphilpartington Says:

    I had a book get to “the desk” on Autho and got hit with a lot of these (as we called them) Autho trolls, too. Not just in the forums, but also reviews. In the forums, I once put out a technical question and while everyone understood I was asking the question, one person (a notorious troll who has returned under many different names over the years) kept attacking me like it was something I was pushing. Everyone started defending me, but then others came in, didn’t read the original message, and figured I was on one side of this “argument.” My novel’s rating (which means nothing on Autho, I realize) went from 4.5 to 3.9 in less than a week and the book had been up for six months. Yeesh. Autho’s a great site, but there are definitely land mines planted about. You’re spot on!

    • authorphilpartington Says:

      Ha! That’s what I get for doing the one thing I HATE when people do…comment before reading. Yeesh. Sorry. It’s been a long, tiring day (been up since 3:30 a.m.). So now that I’ve read your post, you’re STILL spot on. It seems like the larger a writing site gets, the more a problem spamming of this kind can be.

  3. dm yates Says:

    I get so tired of spammers. When will they ever learn that no one is interested in their product when they spam? I’m glad they’re being cleaned up.

  4. Bfloxword/grandpa Floxy Says:

    I suggest we all give up our domestic pets, using the saved money (lots of saved money, barrels full) to support the starving families of those workers who day after day try to overcome the high walls in place by the every vigilant Authonomy administration.

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