Okay, I’m the web­mas­ter for Work­ing to Halt Online Abuse. And we pro­vide link ban­ners for peo­ple who want to link to the site. We don’t approach any­one about link­ing, we don’t do rec­i­p­ro­cal links—they’re just available.

When I first took over the site a cou­ple of years ago, I looked over the stats and found that an incred­i­ble num­ber of sites were link­ing to us and pulling the link ban­ner from our serv­er. I would­n’t like that in any case, but we rely on donat­ed serv­er space and band­width, so it was of even more con­cern to me.

First I tried being nice. I con­tact­ed the own­ers of the sites and asked that they store the graph­ic on their own servers. I got a few respons­es, and about half of those were very neg­a­tive. The oth­er half were polite and changed their sites.

But that still left us with lots of sites con­tin­u­ing to link that what, and it con­tin­ued to get on my nerves. It’s a small file, yes—but a small file loaded repeat­ed­ly on hun­dreds of sites adds up.

I did a total redesign of the site around that time, too, and most of the file and direc­to­ry names changed. Because there had been so many changes, we had a script run­ning that noti­fied me of any 404 errors on the site. And I was get­ting an email every time a vis­i­tor hit one of the band­width-steal­ing sites and tried to load the ban­ner graph­ic. That was tru­ly annoying.

So I changed the way the graph­ics were loaded, using a script designed specif­i­cal­ly to stop band­width theft. I get an email alert­ing me to when a site tries it, and gen­er­al­ly, I’ll only see one or two mes­sages from any site before the web­mas­ter real­izes that yes, I tru­ly mean it when I say “you can’t link to the graph­ic on our serv­er.” (Please don’t con­sid­er this a challenge—I don’t think any­one has found a way around it and would pre­fer to keep it that way.)

But yes­ter­day some guy who does web­sites for hock­ey play­ers spent all day, and I do mean ALL DAY, try­ing to find a way around it. I mean, the dan­ged sites he was mak­ing were already so graph­ic-inten­sive that I can­not real­ly see why he did­n’t just save the ban­ner to his serv­er in the first place and load it there. He must have the space. But no, appar­ent­ly he took it as a chal­lenge. And from about 7 am until well after 6 pm, he kept on try­ing dif­fer­ent ways to call the ban­ner from our server.

I final­ly sent him an email, say­ing sim­ply that we appre­ci­ate his desire to link to us, but that I would real­ly appre­ci­ate it if he’d just call the file from his serv­er and be done with it. I think I spooked him. He decid­ed that Big Broth­er was out there or some­thing. But he did, final­ly, stop.

But why did it take him all day?

Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4255

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top