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S L Forsburg forsburg at nospamsalk.edu
Fri Jun 13 12:13:28 EST 1997

> > From maggieww at MAIL.UNM.EDU Wed Jun 11 01:30:46 1997
> > Is there some way to keep announcements advertising essentially
> > pornographic material off our listserver?  I find it absolutely
> > anti-academic and disheartening.  Maggie WW
Francis Ouellette replied:
> First and foremost, let me say that I agree with you.  These
> messages are offensive, and do not deserve to be posted on our
> newsgroup, as well as any bionet or science related newsgroup.
> They should not be on any newsgroup, <period>
> That being said, there is no _easy_ way that I know to prevent
> these, apart from moderating the newsgroup, a task which would
> remove the spontaneity (ie your message may not have been seen
> this fast by all readers), and may even result in long delays.

It does appear that spamming is here to stay in the short
term (although I heard on NPR today that the FCC is beginning
to get more involved with the junk email stuff).  I'm opposed to
moderation except as a last resort, because it will slow down
the traffic and reduce the sponteneity, introduce a controlling
authority that I as a free-spirited blue-ribbon netizen 
dislike on principle ;-), raise the spectre of censorship (one
person's tidying up is another persons censorship, as a previous
post pointed out with some actual questions about what is allowed?) 
and not insignificantly, give someone (Francis) an awful lot of work.    

So, what to do?  Perhaps the new host of bionet can filter
some of the more egregious ones out in some way.  In the meantime,
for those who can, accessing the newsgroups through a news-server
or the www (http://www.bio.net) allows you to ignore the worst
ones more easily than subscribing to the listserv.  

And we can simply drown them out.  One of the reason we notice them 
(and there aren't REALLY that many) is the low traffic on
the news group gives a low signal-to-noise ratio.  So, let's get
some good discussions going!  

IMHO, of course.

-- susan
DON'T REPLY to the email address in header!
It's an anti-spam.  Use the one below.
S L Forsburg, PhD
Molecular Biology and Virology Lab          
The Salk Institute, La Jolla CA 

forsburg at salk.edu

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