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Re: Forwared message from Pres. of juno.com

At 12:55 AM 9/17/96, Rabid Wombat wrote:

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 15:25:58 -0400
>From: Charles Ardai <[email protected]>
>To: Rabid Wombat <[email protected]>
>Subject: Annoying spam incident(s)
>> Complaints about spamming and cross-posting probably won't get you far,

>A couple of clarifications: Juno has never sent a single piece of spam and,

And so on, with the word "spam" being used frequently throughout the exchange.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall seeing _any_ "spam" from
the account holders at Juno. What I _do_ recall is one or more young kids
signed up to our list and then began engaging in posting to the list
various boring comments about their interests, their "warez," and so on.

Stupid comments are not necessarily (or even usually) spam.

When we start calling stupid postings "spam" and complaining to sysadmins
about "spamming" by a user, we have seriously devalued any use the term
might have once had. This applies whether the stupid posts are from
"talker" or from _me_.

We have an open mailing list, with anyone able to subscribe via majordomo.
This means we'll get inexperienced users, flamers, and, yes, even true
commercial spammers who use the open-reflector nature of the list to post
their ads.

(By the way, when various political organizations, e.g., EPIC, the
Libertarian Party, EFF, VTW, etc., use this open-posting feature, is this
also to be called "spamming"? Why is an alert to dozens of mailing lists
and newsgroups not spam, while "Buy Wheaties" _is_ spam? The answer is that
spam is in the eye of the beholder, and the law should not attempt to
decide which "unrequested messages" are OK and which are not.)

Some suggestions:

-- if people want a closed list, use a version of list software that only
allows members to post

-- if people want "levels" of expertise involved, a la "29th Level
Cypherpunk," this is not the place and time to try to implement this

-- use filters, e.g., procmail, Eudora, whatever

-- don't refer to unwanted posts as "spam," as this invites talk of
applying laws about spam

-- as always, use technology and related tools (filters, reputations)
whenever possible instead of laws and the threat of laws

The sooner we move to a system where people make positive decisions about
which messages to accept and which not to, the better. This is a
technological effort--seeking to influence the direction mail takes--worthy
of some serious thinking, in my view.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."