Index of /
“Open Directories Are the Only Interesting Places Left on the Internet”, writes Jason Koebler at Motherboard. That’s a needlessly provocative headline, but it’s a fair point. Searching with your favourite search engine for “index of” “parent directory” and something apposite is often a good way to surface lists of interesting files.
But it reminds me: perhaps the clearest sign of something being good is when unpleasant people start to exploit it for selfish reasons. So it is with directory listings.
I could speak from personal experience, but instead here’s a Boards of Canada fan posting on a forum about coming across what appeared to be an Aladdin’s cave of rare tracks, but was in fact a fake listing generated using the MusicBrainz database to trick people into completing “offers” (enter a thoroughly dubious competition or survey – give your details to some spammers).
Who’s behind these sites? Is it like the Macedonian fake news complex? Do they make much money? A key question for them must be “how do you sleep at night?” Yet I can’t help but admire their plucky entrepreneurialism.
The doyen of the fake “index of MP3” game was surely wallywashis.name, which no longer appears to exist – but there are others left, like unknownsecret.info. They’re all a bit different, but share these rather brilliant terms and conditions:
You must brush your teeth and floss at least twice daily.
You agree to reject critical thought by condemning it as the realm of conspiracy theorists and cranks.
You must not harbor expectations of downloading mp3 content from this site.
(I can’t really do it justice just by quoting excerpts. Seek out the whole thing yourself.)
The webmaster may ask for collateral in the form of your first born child as a sign of good faith before permitting you to use this website.
Ye gods, the “Herod clause” is real.
I think all of the writing is a beautiful work of art, subtly hinting that the thing is a scam.
Our most successful users gladly enter their personal details into our advertiser’s surveys. They enjoy our advertisements on their own terms.
Successful users of this site will experience the unexpected.
DO NOT CONTACT US
We are minerals. You will be ignored.
We can not help you reach the sirens. This site only pertains to their rocky perch.