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12:13pm on Saturday, 9th July, 2005:

All Publicity


A couple of months ago, the forum for my book was hit by some script kiddie calling himself (it's gotta be a "him") 4ltf4, whose spider found my site and proudly wrote his monicker all over it along with messages telling me to update my BB software. I decided not to do a thing about it, for two reasons. Firstly, I figured that everyone would figure he was a prat and therefore his name would be taken in vain by anyone who saw it. Secondly, I knew that sooner or later the adbots would find the foum and I'd have to close it down anyway.

Well, a couple of days ago the first adbot did find it. I deleted the message, but of course it posted another ... and another ... and another. Overnight, about 20 messages advertising gambling sites arrived. There haven't been any proper posts to the board for a few months, so I'm not all that upset about closing it down. It makes me wonder, however: what do these people hope to gain from this kind of vandalism?

Though far, far less serious, this has vague parallels with the bombings in London. What possible advantage could anyone expect to gain by wrecking my web site? Are people going to think, "Wow, all these completely inappropriate ads for poker rooms, I'm gonna try them!"? No, they're not. They're going to get a wholly negative view of the sites. The London bombings are also utterly pointless: what on earth do they expect Londoners to do? Fall on their knees and repent their sins?

No, the London bombers are out for revenge. There are three reasons why people go in for revenge: to try to stop the object of their revenge from repeating whatever triggered the vengeful act; to look big and tough in front of your mates; to feel better. The first of these isn't going to work (not in London, anyway; it probably didn't work in Madrid, either, although the terrorists could perhaps persuade themselves that it did in that case). The other two possibilities are more like it, although only the second would apply to suicide bombers (where, in this case "Allah", would substitute for "your mates").

Yet none of these reasons apply to the owners of the adbots that hit my forum. They're not out for revenge; they're out for publicity. It's thoroughly bad publicity, though! Do they hope that people will flock to their sites after they bring down the wickedness that is the forum commenting on my book? It's just plain stupidity on their part.

Maybe that's what the London bombers are about: publicity. But in that case, why didn't they bomb Trafalgar Square the previous day when the eyes of the world were watching the results of the Olympic bids and the G8 meeting was convening?

It's a closed loop. Because they're so stupid as to think that killing people will lead to results, they're also so stupid that they can't think of better ways to achieve their ends.

4ltf4, you are a moron. Always-credit and Empire-poker, you are also morons. And eXact, who were responsible for the 28 trojans I removed from my daughter's PC yesterday, you're such morons that you're incapable of realising why you're morons.

The London bombers are morons, too: evil morons.

Referenced by Lads from Leeds.

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).