Are MySpace links to msplinks.com spyware?
Dave, there are a bunch of new comments on my MySpace profile that link to "msplinks.com", even though they look like they're from different people. Is this some sort of unified attack on my profile or what?
If you've been around on MySpace for any length of time, you'll know that spammers are a real problem. Whether they're leaving undeleteable comments (which you can still delete if you know the secret: delete undeleteable myspace comments), sending out bulletins trying to garner inbound links from other profiles, or even just pestering you with email or friend requests, they're the "bad neighbors" of the MySpace world.
In the grand scheme of things, I realize that spam comments on a MySpace profile isn't really much more than an annoyance, but if you're like a lot of people and you spend tons of time and effort on your profile, they can be a real nuisance!
On to your question!
One way that MySpace is trying to limit spammers is to take away the temptation of adding links in comments and bulletins by masking them with a redirect. The idea is that if someone leaves a comment for you with, say, a link to "www.some-lame-spam-site.com", the MySpace system will now automatically change that to be a link to their new redirect server (yes, that's what msplinks.com is) which then ultimately bounces anyone who clicks to the lame site.
So why bother? Why worry whether links to spam sites show up directly on profiles or not? Because of Google. Yep, Google and other search engines determine how important a page is based on how many other pages point to it, so when these spammers are leaving seemingly innocuous comments on your profile, what they're really doing is trying to gain more "points" with Google so that their own pages are more findable in the search engines. Sneaky, eh?
With this change, that tactic will no longer work because it'll be msplinks.com that'll gain all the inbound link love from the search engines, not the individual spam sites.
Now you can see that far from representing a coordinated attack on your profile, it's actually a good thing and one that should, in a few months, start to ease the crush of spam traffic on MySpace itself and on all of our individual profiles.
Btw, "Tom" (really MySpace Corporate) had a note about it a few days ago:
You could also just do a domain ownership query of the msplinks.com domain too. Try it at Network Solutions and you'll find the following:
Registrant: MySpace, Inc., (DOM-1610477) P.O. Box 900 Beverly Hills CA 90213-0900 US
So now you know, and now you know the post office box address for MySpace too. Beverly Hills, very tony indeed! :-)
Oh, and if you are surfing the web - which you're obviously doing since you're here on my site! -- then you must have both a solid antivirus solution and anti-spyware solution. I recommend AVG Antivirus for the former and Spy Sweeper for the latter.
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