A while back, we used to run an image gallery with over 5,000 pictures of all types. During this time, more and more web sites would inline link to the images. Inline linking means the image would display on their page, as if it was their own or hosted on their own server. This caused the image to display fine, but be served up by our server and use our bandwidth. Early on, gallery traffic was responsible for a couple gigs of traffic, but quickly grew. After a couple months, this got to be quite a burden to this server and our hosting situation. On a normal day, we would push out over 10 gigs of traffic from the gallery alone, often enough to saturate the link during peak hours.
At some point, we implemented .htaccess rules that would stop the inline linking abuse. When a link was made, an alternate image (~ 5k) was displayed to cut down the bandwidth.
Even with this measure in place, the traffic grew to over 10 gigs a day. Do the math and you can see how many links there were. On Sep 05, 2003, the gallery was closed to the public due to the amount of links and abuse of bandwidth. Despite the close, people kept linking to any other image they could find on the server and the .htaccess rules had to be implemented almost everywhere, including the few images linked off our news. Most sites saw that these links were invalid and the alternate image was being served. Adding such a link and viewing their own page made it instantly noticeable and prompted them to copy the image to their on server.
Enter the collective "MySpace Generation". For the last year or more, MySpace user profiles have been linking to the images on this server, despite seeing the attrition logo each and every time. Time passed, the links increased and began to number in the thousands a day. In early June of 2005, Cancer Omega and I figured it would be nice to create a custom image for myspace.com and xanga.com, the two worst offenders for attempted inline linking abuse. Every time someone at myspace.com linked to our images, they would not see the little attrition logo, rather they would see something more appropriate.
That lovely image eventually began to adorn thousands of profiles in one place or another. Profile owners trying to link to the images accompanying our movie or music reviews, or some monkey posting a moronic comment to another page would invariably end up with that on the page, not the image they thought. While watching the logs of the new attrition server, myspace.com href links flooded the screen. To celebrate the new year, it seems an abundance of the cluebags want to proudly display one of the new year images hosted here.
Like all links for the past year or more, they see the vapid whore image instead. Time and time again, these cluebags keep linking and keep getting the same alternate content. How is it that these asshats don't notice it when they view their own profile? How is it these dumbasses post insipid comments to each other's blog, but never seem to notice what they post?
In the past 48 hours (29th/30th), there have been just under 20,000 link attempts from 928 profiles! If you would like to cause yourself physical discomfort, feel free to wade through a list of the profiles that have partaken in the abuse. I warn you, many of these are physically nauseating and make grown men cry due to the "terrible grammar, horrible page formatting, and annoying graphics" as Rick Forno once said.
When you hear people talk of online communities such as myspace.com, remember that they are not some fabulous social network advancing our culture. They are the scum of the internet, dragging it further down the sewers day by day. They are full of the most shallow, vapid and weak minded people our society has to offer. They are the next generation, and that scares me.