FOM: coping with spam and fraud: the junk page
Stephen G Simpson
simpson at math.psu.edu
Fri Oct 15 01:46:43 EDT 1999
Dear FOM subscribers,
According to standard Internet terminology, the FOM mailing list is
what is known as a *moderated* mailing list. This means that all FOM
postings must be authorized by the owner/moderator of the list, i.e.,
me, Steve Simpson. The purpose of these rules is to enable me as
owner/moderator to maintain a high quality of scientific content on
the mailing list. In this respect the rules have been largely a
success, and the result speaks for itself.
Also according to standard Internet terminology, *spam* refers to an
unsavory and possibly illegal Internet practice of abusing moderated
mailing lists by sending inappropriate e-mail to the subscribers in an
Beginning August 9, a particularly hostile and aggressive individual
has been repeatedly spamming the FOM list, in order to attack the FOM
list by undercutting my role as moderator. In addition, this same
individual has set up a fraudulent FOM web site.
I view these actions as an unethical expropriation of the hard work I
have done to make the FOM list a valuable scientific resource.
FOM subscribers ought to regard these actions as grossly offensive and
outrageous. Such outrage may even be the best available defense
against spam and related unethical and fraudulent behavior.
As FOM owner/moderator, I am doing everything I can to combat spam and
related nuisances. But spam on the Internet is notoriously difficult
to prevent. Moreover, I am limited in the actions I can take, because
I want to maintain the FOM list as an open, public, scientific forum.
Although I as FOM owner/moderator may not be able to prevent spam,
there is one thing that FOM subscribers can do. Namely, it would be
entirely appropriate for FOM subscribers to configure their own e-mail
software to filter out and reject messages from known spammers. Most
e-mail software has this capability.
In order to combat the bad effects of spam and other abuse of the FOM
list, I have created a web page known as the junk page, at
<http://www.math.psu.edu/simpson/junk/>. The junk page provides an
outlet or repository for spam and reactions/responses to spam and
related nuisances. Some new reactions/responses have been posted
within the last day or two. Naturally the standards of the junk page
are quite different from those of the FOM list.
WARNING: THE JUNK PAGE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. MANY READERS WILL FIND
THE JUNK PAGE OFFENSIVE. THE JUNK PAGE IS FOR MATURE READERS ONLY.
Best wishes to all,
-- Steve Simpson
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