Question: if you create an open system that allows people to upload whatever they want, how do you stop those systems from just becoming huge spam fests that ruin search results? Obviously Jason Calacanis is going to tell you that the answer is Maholo, his new people powered search engine.
He’s given the speech many times before, but this time he took the opportunity to name and shame the people he felt were responsible for the spamfest that is the internet, including the founder of Blogger, Ev Williams, Seth Goldin, entrepreneur and founder of Squidoo and Dave Sifry, founder of Technorati.
According to Calacanis, Usenet was the first place that was ruined by spam after one member decided to mail the entire Usenet community. It’s the things that make the internet great are the things that destroy it.
Although neither I, not Meg Pickard on my left and Sasha Frieze on my righ have been infected with pr0n malware after running a Google search, we’re assured by Jason that it’s a very common occurrence. ActiveX. Search is about to be destroyed and it’s this kind of abuse that we’re allowing to happen.
And who are the main culprits who have allowed spam to take over the web? Well, Jason took the time to name and shame, calling out Seth Goldin for allowing Squidoo to be over-run with affiliate spam links (and stolen content). He’s just one of the many, Calacanis believes, who are pretending they don’t see the abuse so they can make money.
Ev Williams has been responsible for creating a free blogging platform that has been abused by spammers to creat spam blogs (splogs) and sites entirely populated with affiliate links. And Dave Sifry? His blog search engine, Technorati, fails to filter out all those splogs and affiliate sites.
According to Calacanis, the internet is a place to have your time wasted and we are destroying our “eco system”. We aren’t policing the systems we create and the people who have create these systems have prioritised their personal agendas (ie to make money at the expense of the web). Sites on Squidoo are full of covert advertising that is paid and undisclosed.
Obviously, Maholo is Calacanis’s big solution to the question of online spam, but in his speech he also took the opportunity to challenge the creators of platforms like Blogger et al, to take control and boot people off your system if they misuse it for personal profit. The reason no one is stopping this from happening is greed. And as his parting request, he challenged the audience of Le Web 3, saying “don’t let the scumbags take control.”
Check out our other posts from the show in the Le Web 3 category.