Over the last three days, I have received two trackbacks where I could not open the site that my post was linked to. For both of these trackbacks, I received the following error when I tried to read the post, "This error (HTTP 403 Forbidden) means that Internet Explorer was able to connect to the website, but it does not have permission to view the webpage".
The trackback I received today was of concern because it was linked to a spyware removal program’s website (not Spybot's site, which is a product I personally recommend and receive no remuneration for recommending). The trackback was linked to a post I made in June entitled "Spyware and Malware Can Happen to Anyone". The malware I wrote about in this post was associated with a spyware removal program that was known to contain spyware and malware.
Because of this, I have made the decision to not accept a trackback unless I can read the post my blog is trackbacked to. I want to keep the readers of The Virtual CFO blog safe and prevent them from following a link to a site that may clandestinely place spyware or malware on their computer.
I love the free exchange to ideas, communications, and comments that trackbacks allow. A few months ago, I emailed Seth Godin thanking him for allowing trackbacks to his post. But I feel that the free exchange also comes with some responsibility, which is why I will not accept trackbacks unless I can access the site my post is linked to.