[Humanist] 27.791 wreckers' bots

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Feb 13 10:01:25 CET 2014


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 791.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Joris van Zundert <joris.van.zundert at huygens.knaw.nl>     (80)
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?

  [2]   From:    Adrian Miles <adrian.miles at rmit.edu.au>                    (7)
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 09:33:30 +0100
        From: Joris van Zundert <joris.van.zundert at huygens.knaw.nl>
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?
        In-Reply-To: <20140212065233.2A96E643E at digitalhumanities.org>


Dear Willard,

Eric Hellman released an insightful post on this on February 1st:
http://go-to-hellman.blogspot.nl/2014/02/crowd-frauding-why-internet-is-fake.html

It is most certainly fodder for research, not even just from the social
science perspective. The implications might be political and economical on
a global level. The motivation for the technology is quite simple (as
always): it generates money-albeit in a warped malicious way. At some point
commercial business will have a serious problem and incentive to counter
the click fraud by bots. One can imagine the digital 'arms race' that could
unfold: anti-bots that are supposed to be fighting bot spam being lured
away from their job by fake attack sites etc... Like virus control it may be
a profitable business someday rising from initial rather silly behavior.
Play turned vandalism turned fraud turned business? No moral indeed, just
pecunia.

For me the more worrying problem is that these bots before all that may
wreck the web to the point of many benevolent resource owners giving up on
spam battling and locking down or even completely shutting down the free
flow of valuable information.

Best
--Joris

On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 7:52 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 789.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 06:41:58 +0000
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: wreckers, not hackers
>
> Yesterday I received (from Adafruit, may they be praised) a Raspberry Pi
> in the post. I was pulled by force of curiosity and an old hacker's
> passion (once satisfied by building voltmeters and other such kits) away
> from serious work to play with it long enough to rekindle a much
> GUI-muffled sense of computing's primal appeal. This led just now (as I
> gazed across my desk longingly at the Pi and its bits) to a marvellous
> change in my slightly earlier annoyance at yet another attempt of
> someone, more likely someone's machine, to flood Humanist with bogus
> subscriptions. That annoyance became a question: has anyone studied the
> activities of those who set up and run bots the whole purpose of which
> is to wreck the operations of others? Here is no (supposedly) high moral
> purpose to bring down the great military and intelligence centres, no
> Robin Hoodian or Julian Assangian or Ned Kellian cyber-bushranger and
> romantic outlaw but bots set up to do their mischief mindlessly,
> possibly yielding no direct pleasure at all to the instigator. I have great
> sympathy for the larrikin trickster but not for such as these, who
> aren't even present to shake one's fist at.
>
> It would be a fascinating study, would it not? Even, perhaps, a PhD in a
> social science.
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London, and Research Group in Digital
> Humanities, University of Western Sydney
>

-- 
Drs. Joris J. van Zundert

*Researcher & Developer Digital and Computational Humanities*
Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands

*Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences*
www.huygens.knaw.nl/en/vanzundert/

-------

*Jack Sparrow: I thought you were supposed to keep to the code.Mr. Gibbs:
We figured they were more actual guidelines.*



--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2014 20:01:29 +1100
        From: Adrian Miles <adrian.miles at rmit.edu.au>
        Subject: Re:  27.789 why the wreckers' bots?
        In-Reply-To: <20140212065233.2A96E643E at digitalhumanities.org>


Dear Willard 

a useful starting point could be Parikka, Jussi, and Tony D Sampson. The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press, 2009. Print. 

[insert appropriate closing] 
Adrian Miles
Program Manager B. Media and Communication (Honours)
https://www.vizify.com/adrian-miles
Sent with Mail Pilot 




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