Eric C. Anderson anderson at
Tue Sep 20 10:29:08 EST 1994

In article <170369F5DS85.UZS13B at>,
UZS13B at (Stefan Kahlert) wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> Ram Balaraman thinks it's funny to pick up e-mail addresses of biologists
> from this newsboard and answer their questions with disgusting comercials.
> I think this abuse of the internet is worth a little bit of punishment,
> but I don't know how to tell my IBM to resend that trash every 20 seconds
> (certain lawyers know that kind of "mails").
> Has anyone a better idea how to react or can do the job for me on his
> unix machine?
[snip, the posters address and the original offending ad.]

yes, there is a way to react which is the appropriate protocol for a breach
of netiquette such as this.  the first thing to do is to contact Dave
Kristofferson, who is the BIOSCI/bionet manager @biosci-help at
and report the infraction.  the second thing is to do what Stefan has
already done which is contact the offending party directly (Dave will also
do this).  the third thing to do (which may not necessarily be the most
professional, but is certainly effective and which i support) is to vilify
the offender in public on the group if s/he does not respond to personal
mail on the subject FIRST.  this means, don't send out a public flame until
you've given the individual a chance to understand and respond to the
violation of the approved regulations.

below i have excerpted a post from bionet.molbio.yeast which Dave made
regarding a similar problem in that group.  it gives the official response
protocol (which i have sort of outlined above) and should be the ultimate
word on the appropriate response.

(FWIW, i say we go find Ram and pull out his fingernails with a hemostat!
:)  not really...just kidding.)

[below is from Dave Kristofferson, BIOSCI/bionet Manager.  Excerpted from
bionet.molbio. yeast, 9/20/94.]

I received information from some readers of this group that a certain
person named R. C. Dana was making posts about, e.g., the isolation of
RNA, without revealing that (1) commercial products from BIO 101, Inc.
were involved and also (2) without revealing an affiliation with the
company.  I sent a message to the person in question well over a week
ago, and have not received a response back.  In addition, the reader
who was concerned about this possible breach of network regulations
was able to FAX me a business card obtained at a trade show
unambiguously showing an affiliation with the company.

While I can not completely rule out a possible misunderstanding of
network regulations in this case, the suspicion of a subtle attempt to
circumvent them is also present.

So that there is no misunderstanding about what is appropriate and
what is not, I am posting a section from the BIOSCI FAQ on this issue.
I would appreciate it if Mr. Dana would refrain from inappropriate
posts in the future.


				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at

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