Moderating bionet.* newsgroups

Una Smith una at
Wed Mar 1 15:51:44 EST 1995

steffen at (David Steffen) writes:

>1) I am well aware that very harsh language is common on usenet (as
>distinct from bionet), but I consider that a bug not a feature (1).

For what it's worth, I've received far more insulting and offensive
posted and e-mailed comments via bionet.* newsgroups than anywhere
else in Usenet.

I am all for decreasing the noise/signal ratio (note the denominator)
but not at the expense of overall signal.  Restricting ability to 
post to "scientists" does not directly address the problem of noise.
Furthermore, it is needlessly elitist.  Keep in mind that propagation
of bionet.* depends on many Usenet sites that do not have scientists;
such an elitist policy may negatively impact propagation.

A human moderator is an attractive solution, by approving posts based
on *content*, not the identity (or status) of the poster.

	Una Smith			una.smith at

Department of Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT  06520-8104  USA

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