Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pucker Up, MySpace.

Be careful. Shield the eyes of your young children. You're reading a very "naughty" blog. Additionally, I am trying to spam you, phish you, steal your identity, and then infect your computer with viruses, spyware, adware, and other unspecified malware. Not necessarily in that order!

Or so MySpace says.

I discovered this morning that MySpace has blocked all links to my Blogger blogs, replacing them with this twaddle:

The link you are trying to visit has been disabled.

You have reached a link that is no longer in service. That means the link was very naughty, and, much like head lice, had to be eliminated before it spread.

You may be asking yourself, 'Hey, what was it about that link that got it in trouble?' An excellent question! Usually, it's one of the following reasons:

- The link was spam! No one likes spammers, and we don't like their links.

- You almost got phished! There are people out there who want to steal your MySpace password. They want to log in as you and send spam, harass your friends, change your profile, and generally run amok. Phishing pages are usually designed to look like MySpace to trick you. Other sites may also ask for your MySpace login information to customize your profile, insert videos or slide shows, track visitors, or any number of other things.Don't make it easy for them. ONLY USE YOUR MYSPACE LOGIN INFO ON WWW.MYSPACE.COM!!

- Viruses are not fun! Neither is adware, spyware, or malware. We cut the links to places that are known sources of infection.

If you really did want to check out some spam, viruses, or phishing pages, we're really sorry to have interrupted. We're sure you can find it elsewhere. There's plenty on the Internet.
What can I say, MySpace. You got me. My quasi-clever little ramblings about the antics of my 18-month-old daughter and the dumb crap I see on TV were really just an elaborate ruse hiding a nefarious plot to gather people's American Express card numbers so I can fraudulently purchase bigger, more powerful computers with high-def monitors so I can write even more pervasive viruses to infect my friends with so they will see pop-up ads for natural male enhancement every time they try to open Microsoft Word. Curse you, MySpace, for foiling my plot to build my own personal botnet and infect the world with the next Bonzi Buddy. I am forced to retreat to my underground lair and begin hatching another scheme. You can't see me, but I am furiously dry-washing my hands and maybe cackling a little bit.

Seriously. I had run into this problem before, but I was trying to use tinyurl links like I had done in the past on Facebook and Twitter. I can kind of understand MySpace blocking tinyurl links, because their opacity does make it easier to launch such phishing attacks or lead people to shock sites or whatever. I have never goatse'd or Rickrolled anybody, nor have I any intention to do so, but MySpace doesn't know that. So, fine. I used regular links, which worked well until probably a couple of days ago, I don't know. It only came to my attention today (thanks, Dena). All the links I'd posted in MySpace blogs that worked just fine at first are now blocked.

And it would appear that I am not the only one facing this problem. MySpace is blocking all links to Blogger blogs. Links to the Blogger home page still go through, but try to link to your own blog, and your browsing freedom gets the old MySpace clothesline. This is nothing short of censorship.

I realize that this may very well be the result of a poorly-coded or overly-zealous site maintenance bot of some sort, which MySpace has only recently deployed, and the issue might even be resolved soon, with a full apology. But I don't care. It's bad enough that MySpace gives you a big stupid warning every time you click a link that might lead you out of their dungeon of irritating corporate advertisement, but flat-out blocking anything, even with the best of intentions, is unacceptable. When it spills over into blocking legitimate links, it's abusive.

So, MySpace, I would like to extend to you a formal invitation to kiss my ass, and in fact, to kiss the collective ass of the entire Blogger/Blogspot community. Stop treating all your users like idiots. Many of them probably are, but not all of them. Phishing is nothing new. Anyone with a computer and enough of a clue to get on MySpace has heard of phishing and, if they're smart, they've already done something to protect themselves from it. They don't need your hand-holding, and we don't need your accusations of wrongdoing. Stop censoring your little corner of the Internet, because there's nothing stopping people from leaving it en masse. They're already doing so, in fact.

Frankly, I'm surprised that it took this long for the influence of Rupert Murdoch and the Fox drones to be felt.


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