W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-calendar@w3.org > February 2002

add-on to Spam hurts - Was: Out of curiosity

From: Greg FitzPatrick <greg@skical.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2002 12:46:46 +0100
To: <www-rdf-calendar@w3.org>
Actually spamers miss as many opportunities as they take.  Can you imagine
what a monkey wrench they could have thrown into the works of napster-kazaa
etc., if every other Madonna hit downloaded was really an obnoxious jingle
about how to get rich by operating a call centre out of your own home.
Strange that did not happen. The RIAA could have seed funded the operation.


||1. Ironically, the title you choose for your email 'Out of curiosity'
||illustrates a problem many email discussion groups are
||increasingly burdened
||with - Spam.  The only reason I opened your email Jeff, was that
||I am trying
||out a new Spam filter and taking a look at what it kills - like mention of
||'weight loss' 'work at home' 'dentist bills' or any of 299 variations for
||saying 'get rich' in the subject or text fields of an email.
||The community has not come to grips with this rapidly deteriorating
||situation, though some mailing lists have voluntary human
||sentinels. I read
||the other day that without filters at various places in the
||message chain we
||(normal email users)  can expect up to 4000 objects of Spam a day
||by the end
||of this year.
||That wonderful era when you could write to anyone and get mail from anyone
||is over; for some it has been over for quite a while.  I remember
||the first
||time I wrote Dan Connolly and got back an automated reply 'I'm
||sorry I cant
||read this because I don't know you'.
||A few years ago I started a discussion on the RDF Interest list with an
||email entitled 'A certain difficulty' which resulted in hundreds of
||messages.  Today such a title would lead Spam killers to assume that this
||was a pitch for incontinence aids or tax problem solvers and the
||would never have gotten off the ground.  Your innocent title 'Out of
||curiosity' is in the same category.
||Not that extremely explicit subject headers will always solve the
||problem -
||clever spamers can take snippets of commonly occurring phrases in a
||discussion and reuse them.
||I have often toyed with creating a filter somewhat like Connolly's - only
||giving people a second chance through a challenge system - replying to
||unknown senders with something like the following:
||"I am terribly sorry but you are not registered in my 'friends'
||list. Could
||you perhaps resend your message? If you have changed your email address
||recently please indicate that.  If you are a long last friend -
||write a line
||about how we met.  If you are interested in my research 'write a
||line about
||Of course eventually bots will learn how to foil such a system, but it
||should work for a while.
||If anyone has read to the bottom of this email they will realize
||that it is
||the equivalent of Spam itself.  It has nothing to do with the subject this
||list is supposed to cover and it is sent out with no idea who
||will read it.
||All that is lacking is a final pitch:
||...and the email blocker I have just described is available for download
||absolutely free...
||Some of the discussion that could or should take place on this
||list does so
||in the form of IRC, Internet Relay Chat.  Libby Miller might like to
||describe how that works? It is too complicated for me to understand.
||||I have been subscribed to this RDF Calendar for a couple months
||||now, and all
||||I seem to be receiving is advertising and other information
||||straight to the
||||Is this typical, can it be stopped, or are there other places that this
||||discussion takes place at?
||||thank you,
||||Jeff Weidner
Received on Monday, 11 February 2002 08:40:08 UTC

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