Natural business growth from email spam, eh?
Of course the spammers and scammers are looking for new ways to expand their business models. That's mostly because Google has done such a great job of supporting the scammers with Gmail. In the last few minutes I've received several 419 scams routing the replies to Gmail addresses. The response? Have you seen the tedious hideousness of Google's so-called spam reporting webform? GREAT protection for the spammers.
Actually, the same approach that could work to reduce the email spam could be applied to breaking the economic models of the review spammers. For example, Google could create a review-spammer system that would let us report a suspicious review, and then respond with supporting information. Based on the article, one obvious approach would be to use the candidate spam as a search target, and then ask the wannabe spam fighter to rate the similarity to similar reviews in a similar time window, perhaps supported with colorized highlighting of the likely parallel phrases. Lots of possibilities beyond that. I admit that I don't feel the motivation myself, but some people might want better reviews because they do lots of shopping, or maybe Google could provide coupons to people who are especially good at it.
By way of contrast, I am STRONGLY motivated to fight the email spammers, and I really wish SOMEONE offered a really powerful spam-fighting tool. Something like SpamCop, but on steroids. SpamCop is okay, but it doesn't do much. It's just one pass of analysis with a confirmation for the spammer's ISP and webhosts. What I want would be a POWERFUL spam-fighting system that would go through several rounds of analysis and refined targeting going after ALL of the spammers' accomplices, working to break ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, and notifying or helping ALL of the spammers' victims.
Will no one give me a dagger big enough to reach the spammers' hearts? That's a metaphor for stabbing the spammers' business models to death. I'm not saying they should be killed, but I'm sure that such sociopaths cannot be converted into decent human beings. However, if you cut off their money from spam email, they will have to crawl under some other rock.