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Following - The Implications #2

Last month, I predicted the emergence of the rule about Following and your reputation in the community
You are judged by what blogs you follow.


In musing about the vulnerability of Following to spamming, I realised a corollary to that rule
You are judged by who Follows your blog.


Let's look at some simple cases that expand upon the first rule.
You are judged by what blogs you follow.

  1. If you Follow a splog, (using presumption of innocence before guilt) you're maybe simply being mislead. If you follow only one splog, you need to remove that Following. Otherwise, people who might Follow your blog will be creating a link to a Profile (yours) that links to a splog.
  2. If you Follow just 2 splogs, you're possibly a splogger yourself. People who Follow your blog risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so they too would need to remove any Following to your blog.
  3. If you Own just 1 splog, you are a splogger. Period. People who Follow your blog risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so they too would need to remove any Following to your blog.

Three simple rules, right? Not quite. Now, let's look at some simple cases that expand upon the second rule.
You are judged by who Follows your blog.

  1. If you are Followed by a blogger who also Follows a splog, (using presumption of innocence before guilt) that person is maybe simply being mislead. If the other blogger follows only one splog, he (she) needs to remove that Following. Otherwise, your blog will have a link to a Profile that links to a splog. You then need to Block that blogger from Following your blog.
  2. If you are Followed by a blogger who Follow just 2 splogs, the other blogger is possibly a splogger. You now risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so you need to Block that blogger from Following your blog.
  3. If you are Followed by a blogger who Owns just 1 splog, that blogger is a splogger. Period. You risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so you need to Block that blogger from Following your blog.

In other words, you (as a blog owner) have to keep your Followers clean, just as you need to keep your Followed list clean. Association with a splogger or a splog risks you being treated as a splogger.

If we carefully keep our Followers list clean, by Blocking anybody who fails to keep their relationships clean (or who is actively malicious), we keep our own relationships clean for any bloggers who surf through our blogs and profiles. If we do not keep our relationships clean, anybody who would link to us (or allow us to link to them) must Block us instead.

So keep your own Followers and Followed lists clean. Please. The spam free surfing potential of Following depends upon you.

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