Blekko Sets Fire to the Internet Man With ‘Burning Spam’

Inplace #2

burningmanADOTAS – I’ve never been to the Burning Man festival, but I dated a girl who was a frequent attendant of the annual soiree in the Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada. Her description made it sound like a celebration of anarchy and a rebellion against societal systems such as the art world, currency, clothing and substance abuse laws. To end off the event, what better item to burn than a giant wooden representation of authority — “The Man.”

In that spirit, social search upstart Blekko decided to set fire to an effigy constructed from the 1 billionth piece of Internet spam encountered in 2011 by the Blekko Spam Clock. It was a perfect way to celebrate rebellion against the web’s equivalent of “The Man” — Google.

Oh man, they found a timely piece too: a crap site reported by Blekko users called “,” which contained possibly 200 words of text, a clipart back ground and a slew of links to offers from other sites. Cofounder and CEO Rich Skrenta was quick to note there are tons of Google ads front and center.

The Blekko kids chopped up printed pages of the spam site and constructed a man with the aid of plastic straws and platform made of actual Spam cans. Then they set fire to it on top of a grill — it’s beautiful and tragic at the same time.

Burning Spam from blekko on Vimeo.

(I also would have gone with “Disco Inferno” as the background music, but I’ve been humming that to myself a lot lately.)

Blekko cofounder and vice president Mike Markson also shared some thoughts on the fiery occasion: “We think this is stunning. Just 42 days into this year and the spammers, scammers and content farms have already cranked out 1 billion pieces of internet pollution. One billion pieces of incremental trash to add to the pile we’ve been collecting for the past decade.”