Last night I was thinking about links posted on Twitter, and how many people I know will regularly or semi-regularly post links to things that they are not endorsing, in the "look at this flaming pile of idiocy" sense rather than the "check out this cool thing" sense. I know Twitter automatically adds rel="nofollow" attributes to outbound links from tweets, but that still doesn't mean that a user clicking on that link isn't providing the destination site with views/hits/ad impressions/etc. It got me wondering if there was a better way to point out notably awful things on the web without rewarding the destination site.
The first thing I was hoping for is something like rel="disavow", similar to what Google put together in their webmaster tools site, only for outbound links instead of inbound. Then again, any link relations would likely be stripped by (or inadvertently targeting) t.co. I eventually came to the conclusion that the only thing to do was hope that like-minded internet users use an ad blocking software or (possibly) link to Google cached versions of the pages instead of their live sites, which also has the benefit of storing the offending content for longer if the owner tries to change or remove it.
So I'm wondering... am I over-thinking this? Does my desire to see sites without rewarding them make me a bad internet user? Some sort of, dare I say it, pirate?
Edit: good enough for me: http://www.donotlink.com/