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Usenet Spam

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What is Usenet Spam?

By now, we all know that the term SPAM is used to describe a very negative occurrence that plagues the Internet today. Unfortunately, it also plagues the Usenet community. It seems like nothing is immune to spam these days. Usenet spam comes in many different shapes and forms but essentially it encompasses everything that is unwanted in a certain group.

Instances of Usenet Spam

So what are some instances of spam in Usenet? One instance of spam that is often mistaken for simply posting is the posting of irrelevant or unrelated materials in a certain group. For example, if you are posting material about video games in a newsgroup that is concerned primarily with politics, you are spamming that group, whether you are doing that maliciously or with no bad thoughts in mind.

That is one of the most common encounters of spam in Usenet, as well. The rule of thumb is simple to follow – if you cannot find anything related to what you are about to post in that group, just don’t do it. People that visit those specialized groups are tired of having spammers flood their discussions with garbage. Even if you think the information you post is very valuable, you have to consider whether it will be valuable to the people in that group. If they wouldn’t car reading about it, then it is garbage for them.

Common Usenet Spam Terminology

Other, more brutal examples of spam are excessive multi-posting and excessive cross-posting. Excessive Multi-Posting (EMP) refers to having too many separate copies of a substantively identical article. “Substantively identical” means that the material in each article essentially carries the same message. EMP includes articles which consist of inclusions of other user’s postings, but are otherwise identical and otherwise identical postings minimally customized for each group they appears in. Excessive Cross-Posting (ECP) means that a lot of postings of the same article have been made to many different groups (so it is highly unlikely that the groups were all related in subject).

In summary, think twice about what you are posting and where you are posting it, considering these simple guidelines, if you do not want to be kicked out of the groups you post in.

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