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Nordic FAQ - 1 of 7 - INTRODUCTION
Section - 1.5 Complaining to a person's postmaster;- how, when and why?

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   Even though ignoring is often the best approach to bad net-behaviour,
   there are certain types of posting that warrant, or sometimes even
   require, actions to be taken. This does not mean flaming the person
   into a crisp, though; the best way is to mail a message to the
   username 'postmaster' at the same main domain as the crook's address
   For example, if posts something you
   strongly disapprove of, send a polite complaint to the address, who may or may not do something about it.
   Remember to include in your mail the original article that caused you
   to complain and its headers so that the postmaster can check if it
   really was posted from that site.
   Here's an example of what your mail could look like:
    Subject: Net-abuse from your site

    Dear Sir,

    Your user John Spam ( has posted a
    [insert your favourite form of net-abuse] to the newsgroup soc.
    culture.nordic, an act widely recognized as a breach of netiquette.
    Please warn him not to do this again, and if he has done so before,
    consider removing his access to the Usenet. Thank you.

    Joe Netter

    [the posted article follows]:


   Of course, the poster's address may be forged;
   if that's the case, there may not be much that you can do, except
   perhaps to repost it to, where people may be
   able to track it down if there really is a need for that.
   However, these actions should be left only to the worst offenders,
   because postmasters have a lot of work to do and if they get loads of
   unwarranted complaints they may lose their willingness to co-operate.
   Do not mail complaints simply because someone has called you an
   airhead in the heat of an argument. Use your common sense. Or you
   could go by this list of common types of articles that warrant a
     * MISPLACED ADS. See section 1.3.8 above; most ads, such as the the
       infamous Green Card Lotteries and Long-distance Phonecalls, are
       out of place in soc. culture.nordic. There's a struggle going on
       between the established Usenet culture and certain advertisers who
       don't give a dingo's kidneys about Usenet discussions, and only
       see the net as a virgin marketing medium ready and waiting to be
       raped with junk mail. If you want the Usenet to remain a
       discussion forum and not turn into a playground for the likes of
       Canter & Spam, it's almost your duty as a good netizen to react
       against this abuse of the net. The more people do it, the more
       effective it will be in uprooting the Evil.
     * MAKE MONEY FAST. There are lots of chainletters circulating the
       net; the one known by this name is the most common. People are
       supposed to send 5$ to the person on the top of a list of names,
       add their own name on the bottom, redistribute the letter, and
       then suddenly receive $50,000 some weeks later. I guess it never
       occurs to the people who buy into this thing to actually ask where
       the money is supposed to come from (except from gullible suckers
       like themselves). Anyway, chainletters are not only a totally
       pointless waste of good bandwidth but also illegal in most
     * SPAM. Named in reference to a classic Monty Python sketch, spam
       means multiple postings of a single article. Posting a couple of
       copies of an article is acceptable in some cases; with spamming,
       we mean hundreds if not thousands of copies posted to almost all
       newsgroup of the net with the use of a posting script. It takes a
       lot of net resources, costs a lot of people large sums of money,
       and is very annoying to the readers. This is an extremely bad
       thing to do and those who have done it, often (but not always) to
       advertise some product, have experienced the hatred of hundreds of
       thousands enraged netters phoning them in the middle of the night,
       subscribing them to hundreds of magazines, mailbombing their
       systems, overloading their fax-machines, complaining to their
       employers and so forth. The least thing that happens to spammers
       is they will be plugged off the Internet, but a persistent spammer
       may be in for the ride of his life. Although cancel-bots such as
       the CancelMoose[tm] nowadays pretty effeciently deal with most
       spams, it is still recommended to mail the postmaster to convince
       him to remove the spammer's net access.
     * VELVEETA. Similar to spam, but instead of posting separate
       articles to a lot of unrelated newsgroups, the script has been set
       to cross-post to a lot of unrelated newsgroups. Takes less
       net-resources and is less of an annoyance, but is nevertheless
       abuse of the net as they're nearly always untopical to the
       newsgroups they're posted to and generate massive threads. It's
       also often used as a sort of a surrogate spam by obsessed
       advertisers, hoping that the cancelbots won't be able to sniff a
       velveeta. Never follow-up to one of these because your article
       will then show in all the newsgroups included and you'll be, as it
       were, participating in the velveeta. Complaining isn't as
       important as with spams, but it often makes sense if, for example,
       the article is not only a velveeta but also a misplaced ad.
     * FASCIST PROPAGANDA. S.c.n gets more than its share of this form of
       net-abuse, probably because neo-nazi twits think "aryan"
       Scandinavians are somehow more prone to buy into their ideas. It's
       illegal in some countries (such as Germany), but falls under
       freedom of speech in others. In the net, you should again use your
       judgment; if someone's merely expressing what you perceive as
       fascist or racist views in a discussion you should probably ignore
       it completely, or reply only in email if you feel you must reply.
       Absolute freedom of speech is what the Net is built on, and that
       unique tradition should be respected. Besides, here all extremist
       political views fall neatly into their place in the kooky club
       with the general discord, noise and weirdness, without ever
       attracting the undeserved attention that makes them potentially
       dangerous in traditional media. You can afford to ignore it or
       simply laugh; that's how the net has been successfully dealing
       with this stuff for as long as it has existed. If, however,
       someone's posting neo-nazi flyers, you have a reason to complain;
       expressing views is one thing, explicit propaganda another. Few
       sites want to be associated with it, legal or not.
   Using your voice sensibly will keep Usenet a better place to be for
   everyone. Emphasis on the word "sensibly".

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Top Document: Nordic FAQ - 1 of 7 - INTRODUCTION
Previous Document: 1.4 Looking for a Nordic girl-friend?
Next Document: 1.6 The same procedure as last year...

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