How to Stop Web Spam with the Law in Minnesota

internet spam criminal

It took an act of Congress to make e-mail spam illegal. Today, web spam is a problem.

What is web spam? Web spam is a comment on your blog or forum that provides little or no value to the dialogue and is put there solely for the purpose of establishing a backlink for SEO purposes.

If you own a blog or a forum, you have probably encountered the annoyance of spam comments on your site. You may have wondered what to do about them. Until we have an act of Congress, is there any legal way to stop spammers?

Here is an interesting idea that I heard recently. You establish Terms of Service on your blog or forum, which everyone must accept before posting on your site. In the Terms of Service, you require the visitor to contractually agree that the visitor will not post spam, if they do post spam the visitor can be sued for liquidated damages including attorneys fees and collection costs, and the visitor is subjecting herself to the jurisdiction and venue of the website owner’s state.

Then, when a spammer agrees to your website’s terms of service, and then posts spam, you can proceed with a lawsuit against the spammer.

The difficulty with this approach is you must incur the expense of a lawsuit and track down the spammer. If the spammer is an SEO person, you may be able to sue the company they are working for because the SEO person is an agent of that company.

If this idea worked, companies would be very careful not to hire an SEO person who engages in web spam, because they could incur serious financial liability. What do you think of this idea?