Re: winternet and spam
Creeping stealthily through the corridors of rec.sport.unicycling, I overheard
Wolfgang Stroessner say:
: Michael wrote:
:>However There are a few flaws:
:> 1) Everyone who posts directly to the NG would have to add the "UNI: tag to
:> the subject line themselves (may be possible in some newsreaders to
:> automate this)
: Yes, that’s true. I think this takes about 2 extra seconds per message.
No. It’ll take a dozen posts where you hit send and then think “Wait a
minute, wasn’t I supposed to stick “UNI:” in the subject field?” followed by
another dozen posts where you have nearly finished typing before remembering,
at which point you’d have to scroll all the way back up and add “UNI:” before
sending the post.
Only once you were well-used to the system would it take 2 seconds to stick
“UNI:” in as soon as you start a post. For irregular posters (such as myself)
this is not really likely to happen. For regular posters (John Foss, Sarah
Miller etc) would the additional 2 seconds really save time when the
occasional spam from this group is encountered? Lesse, 2 seconds over lots of
posts, as opposed to hitting delete or tab when confronted by a spam message?
:> 2) Newcomers to the group will not know this rule, and so would be ignored.
: When subscribing to the mailing list, everyone gets a message with several
: rules like neticette and so one. We could add this rule. Posters to the
: newsgroup have not to subscribe. So they may not know the “Uni:” rule. In this
: case we could send a generated answer explaining the rule. Then the newby has
: the chance to post his message again.
Newbie, however, thinks “Huh? What are they on about? Of course it is UNI
related, I wouldn’t be sending it to this list if it wasn’t UNI related!” and
:> 3) Co-ordinating the switch. How many hundreds of people read this group?
:> (Including lurkers?) I do not really think everyone would switch over to
:> using the suggested tag quickly enough for it to catch on and be a
:> viable option.
: Changing the tag is not necessary.
No, however introducing it would be. It was this initial switch I was
: Spammers are not readers of the newsgroup who decide to post some advertising
: off topic. Spammers collect email addresses whereever they can get them,
: preferred automatically.
So that’s what they do… I had wondered…
: They set up fire walls to avoid getting flame letters
Well, a fire wall is something slightly different, but I won’t get into a
technical discussion here…
Sarcasm aside, the only NGS I have seen additional tags in subject lines work
effectively were ones like a.f.pratchett and uk.media.tv.sf.babylon5 were
subject line tags were used to indicate that the material contained might not
interest the reader. Adding a tag solely to chop out spam would work IF
every user of the mailing list/NG obeyed the rule and every newbie learnt this
rule quickly and effectively.
Now, maybe the first condition would work. You are still going to have a large
transitional period whilst everyone gets used to the new rule.
With the amount of blunders people new to groups make (based on personal
experience, both of my own such mistakes and others I have observed) such a rule
is going to puzzle them and, probably, be ignored.
You asked for comments, Wolfgang, and I gave 'em!
Michael “If cats had an opposable thumb and could hold a screwdriver, we’d all
be doomed.” JMS.