Dave K: Why Spams?

BIOSCI Administrator biosci-help at NET.BIO.NET
Mon Dec 11 18:26:17 EST 1995

> Dave Kristofferson:
> Why do so many spams appear *only* on the bionet 
> groups?  Don't you use cancelbots like everybody 
> else?

To be honest I don't spend my time comparing the level of spams on
bionet versus other newsgroups (I have an awful lot of work to do),
and no one has brought this comparison to my attention before.  We
don't run cancelbots here because I have been under the, perhaps
naive, assumption that others were launching them net-wide.  If what
you are saying is true regarding the level of spams here versus
elsewhere, then it may be that the cancelbots are only cleaning up the
main hierarchy groups and you are seeing the left overs in special
hierachies like bionet.  I'm just guessing here ...  we'll look into
it.  Running a cancelbot after the fact takes time, however.  We may
have to come up with a means of allowing our newsgroup discussion
leaders to do this...

> Given that there's specific funding for 
> these groups, and that they're supposed to be
> professional, and that they're echoed to many
> people's personal mailboxes, WHY DON'T YOU 
> even unmoderated newsgroups show orders of
> magnitude fewer spams than bionet groups.

Thanks for your pleasant way of bringing these problems to my
attention.  We've been busting our hind ends working late nights and
weekends to bring everyone a nice new service on the Web ... sorry we
haven't been attentive to your needs too.

I'll cc our system administrator, Dave Mack, on this message and we'll
look into it.  Although there *is* funding for bionet, we run a large
number of groups with about 0.7 of a person; sorry if we can't be all
things to all people.

> If there's something weird about how the bionet
> groups are set up, then change it.  There are
> USENET emailing services for people who are 
> still stuck in the 80s.  Why not make the 
> bionet groups into normal, dependable newsgroups
> like thousands of others?
> Disgustedly yours,
> JK

Once again, I have not spent my limited time counting spams on bionet
versus other USENET forums (just running bionet consumes all the time
I have to devote to USENET).  I just skip them without reading them as
I have suggested to others.  I merely assumed that everyone was getting
hit with these since I often blow away many spams sent to the groups
that I moderate.  These spams usually have a large number of newsgroup
names on them including many non-bionet names.

If in fact, cancelbots for USENET-wide spams are missing the bionet
hierarchy because of our non-mainstream status, then we'll see what we
can do about this.

In the future, though, I'd appreciate it if you would be more civil,
and just call a problem like the above to our attention without all of
the unnecessary grandstanding.

We have recently taken steps together with our newsgroup moderators to
protect the mailing lists of many of the moderated newsgroups on
bionet from forged approved messages.  When a problem is brought to
our attention, we try to solve it within the best of our means.  Given
our resource levels, however, we often have to deal with other
priorities first.  The implementation of our WWW newsgroup access site
means that the people who are most bothered by spams, our e-mail
users, now have another route to access messages which makes it much
easier for them to ignore spams.  Completing this project has been our
top priority lately, but it also has implcation for the growing problem
of Internet spam.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at net.bio.net

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