Well, I managed yesterday to get in contact with the people who were sliming my server with referrer spam. I asked them to stop, and they removed me from their database! Amazing! My referrer logs look better today.

How did I manage to contact them? Their domain names were registered to someone with an email address to which email could not be delivered (the domain didn't appear to have any DNS records). So rather than contact them directly, I emailed the registrar where they registered the spamming domain. Here's the message I got in reply (with a few things blanked out):

Hi Antone,
Please send me the spammed URL and I will remove it from our database
Sorry about it

-----Original Message-----
From: Antone Roundy [mailto:*****@*****.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2005 3:49 PM
To: *****@*****.com
Subject: Trying to contact owner of *****.com

I'm trying to contact the person who registered the domain name *****.com through you. The contact information they provided when registering is invalid or otherwise useless, because no mail server exists for the domain name of their email addresses. They have been sending "referrer spam" to my website (and others) for quite a while (using various domain names, *****.com is just the latest one), and I'd like to let them know that my referrer logs are not exposed to anyone but me, so they can stop wasting their bandwidth and mine. Could you help me contact them.


Antone Roundy

After I sent them two of my domain names that they were spamming, I got another email today to confirm that I'd been removed from their database. Shocking!

Don't get me wrong. I'm unimpressed by their apologies. They'd have to recognize the evil of their ways and stop spamming everyone to impress me. But I'm sure glad they actually responded positively to my request--I didn't entirely expect that.

So what was the key to success here? I suspect it's a combination of these three factors:

  1. I contacted their registrar, letting them know two bad things the perp was doing: using useless contact information, and spamming.
  2. I let them know that spamming me does nothing for them, because no one else sees my referrer logs--this may have been the key.
  3. I was polite. It's not that I felt like being polite, just that I want results more than I want revenge.

May we all have such luck with these things. And may I not get put back into their database in the future.