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Signature, Finger, & Customized Headers FAQ
Section - ... 3.4 Robot Fodder

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Q: Tim, why do you and others put random, provocative words like
   the following in your sig?

    -- 
    Green Card fodder: Canter, Siegel, green card, Joel Furr, liable,
    fortune, conspiracy, CyberSell, Tennessee Bar.


A: The original genesis of this bit of lore was the NSA's
   supposed archiving of Usenet.  It's a popular urban legend
   that the NSA scans and archives every message posted to
   Usenet, and in the heyday of this story it was popular to
   add "spook fodder" to your .signature consisting of words
   like "conspiracy, bullion, plutonium, Saudi Arabia,
   president, assassination," and so on.  I think that the GNU
   Emacs distribution still comes with the code that would
   insert such words into your posts or .signatures
   automatically.
   
   A couple of years ago there was a nut named Clayton Cramer
   who would periodically bombard soc.motss with pages and
   pages of pseudo-scientific babble about the evils of
   homosexuality.  It got so tiring that after a while I
   amended my .signature to read "Clayton-Fodder:
   homosexuality, pedophilia, incest, guns, Second Amendment,
   Libertarian, Reagan," or some such.  It got quite a few
   giggles from some of the old hands out there.
   
   A more recent example was the case of "Serdar Argic," a
   program written by a U of Minnesota student to search for
   any article referencing Turkey or Turkish culture, and
   follow up with several pages of invective about Armenian
   genocide.  There were some reports that this program was
   faulty and began responding to articles about "Thanksgiving
   Turkey" and the like, but I don't recall ever seeing that
   happen, myself.  Nevertheless, people started putting "Argic
   fodder" into their .signatures, like "Turkey, Armenia, SDPA
   crooks, genocide" in order to bait the "Argic-bot" into
   following up.
   
   The latest rumor is that Canter and Siegel are archiving
   every post which refers to them, in the hopes of finding
   grounds for a libel suit.  Hence, my .signature (which only
   goes to newsgroups in the news.* hierarchy).  It's a
   ridiculous idea, but this is one of those bits of folklore
   which I really enjoy perpetuating.

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