A bitch list is similar to a shit list in the general sense, but it has a very particular meaning in the war against spam. Since some ISPs who have decided to host known spamming operations ignore their abuse@ email address, those sufficiently bothered by the kiddie porn spam emailed to their children to complain find that their complaints fall on deaf ears. At this point, the complainer can use the bitch list to make sure their complaints are heard.

Found at http://www.bitch-list.net, the list provides those email addresses known to be operational and responsible (directly or indirectly) for the continued connectivity of many spammers. As an example of how this works, should you receive spam from an individual connecting through Qwest, instead of simply complaining to abuse@qwest.net you could use the bitch list and complain to the following addresses: abuse@qwest.net, abuse@qwest.com, abuse@qwestisp.net, postmaster@qwest.net, postmaster@qwest.com, hostmaster@qwest.net, hostmaster@qwest.com, hostmaster@qwestisp.net, support@qwest.net, support@qwestisp.net, dns-admin@qwestisp.net, dns-nsi@qwestisp.net, dns-info@qwest.net, webmaster@qwest.net, webmaster@qwest.com, sysop@qwest.net, sysop@uswest.net, joe@qwest.com, investor.relations@qwest.com, ir@qwest.net, qwest.foundation@qwest.com, cmaledo@qwest.com

To make things easier for you, you can simply fire the email off to qwest.com@bitch-list.net, and your complaint will be auto-forwarded to the entire list of email addresses.

Now to the crucial question: is this the right thing to do? There is endless debate on the subject found all over the 'net. By spewing your complaint to all of these email addresses at once, you are indeed coming close to spamming yourself. However, for an ISP to find itself on the bitch list it must be particularly unrepentant and unresponsive to complaints. If they are unwilling to live by the general rules of etiquette of the internet, then they can't really complain when complaints are not routed through normal channels.