Scouts-L Mail Archive for September of 1999: Re: Filtering Out Smut
Re: Filtering Out Smut
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Sun, 5 Sep 1999 14:36:17 CDT
You wrote with a real concern:
>Main reason for message: As a Christian, a Scouter and strong believer
>in high morals and ethics, I'm appalled that we must continue to endure
>the sexually oriented trash that is being broadcast (SPAM) to this or
>any other list. Is there a way to prevent this objectionable,
>unsolicited garbage from being transmitted into my home?
I've been here since 1989, Glenn...in those ten years, we've only
encountered "smut messages" three times. In all three times, it was caused
by someone subscribing to our small band, deciding to send us all a message
expressing his/her personal observations and opinions, and sitting back and
letting the "sparks fly". In all three cases, they were quickly dealt with
and the person's ISP (all educational organizations, by the way) were
notified by our listowner and that was that.
If you (speaking to all members, not just Glenn) have received any SPAMmed
messages, sexual-oriented or not, first look to see if it had originated
from this list. If so, FORWARD a copy of the posting to Jon Eidson (our
listowner) at email@example.com and he will get on the case immediately.
Scouts-L has a very broad tolerance range, but there are some things we
simply won't tolerate!
On the other hand, much SPAM which comes to my emailbox here have originated
from me stopping at a website and using this account as an address in which
to send additional information about the product or service to me through.
Some webowners out there, particularily commerical operators, do SELL their
mailout lists to others, which means that you have the potential of being
sent unsolicited and unwelcomed email on a wide variety of topics and
"interests". There's very little that can be done about that, Glenn...that
too is part of living the American dream (nightmare).
The best protection you can offer yourself and your family is by using one
account to "request information from" no matter what the source; this
account should be an account held by an adult member of your family. If you
request things for your children, its a lot easier to forward the response
to their account than it is for them to get onto that account and read
through all of the sex, business opportunities and I've got this for sale
items (plus you as the parent have more control over what your children do
read and respond to). I use one account to request information from and I
can tell immediately if my name and email address has been sold by the
amount of mail on that account.
The second best protection is to use a SPAM filter or program to remove or
hide SPAMmed messages to your account. There are several out there that can
be easily downloaded or purchased and installed and most do work at removing
most if not all.
The third thing you can do is to protect your email address from those that
want to "sell it" to others. For instance, on America Online (tm), as well
as through several free email sites, you can choose to "modify" your email
address by the addition of stray characters or the words "NOSPAM" or
"NOTHERE" or "NONO" or even the word "PROTECT" in the email address. You
will have to caution others that want to send mail to you legitmatly to
remove those things BEFORE sending; otherwise the mail will "bounce" or
become nondeliverable. This isn't a foolproof method, Glenn, because
there's "cleaners" out there that will remove those words and phrases from
the addresses. But it does work and it is effective....Dave Loomis, for
example, here on our list does such a thing with his email address.
The fourth thing you can do, Glenn, is to complain to your Internet Service
Provider (ISP) and ask them for their assistance. Most don't want to lose
customers, especially as ISPs become as commonplace as self-service gas
stations. If they know you're concerned, most will work with you to resolve
this issue and some have software installed on their mail servers which may
also help by removing the SPAM before you even get to download it to your
The fifth thing you can do is when going to a website and being requested to
leave your email address, to see if they have a box or "radio button" on
their site which informs them that "your account is not for sale or storage
except by your firm" and/or "I'm not interested in receiving any further
information from your firm, thank you very much." Most firms will inform
you of why they need the information and will give you an "opt-out" to
prevent them from further bothering you.
Scouts-L has been known as a relatively "clean" and "family-friendly" site,
although there have been lots of topics and verbage within some postings
clearly revealing the adult nature of our list. But it's all been done IN
CONTEXT and not as a way to shock nor to make others redfaced nor lose their
moral upbringings in response or in discussion. Our "WELCOME" statement
does contain a line or two that asks our subscribers not to use language
which would tend to offend even the more conservative of our members and
we've kept to that (or have offered a disclaimer within the FIRST paragraph
which explains that the posting may have such language which was placed
there by the *author* and not by the *poster*) over the many years. Those
little asterisks (****) also do wonders as well although most youth members
as well as adults are aware of which words/phrases are being "starred out."
Sorry you've had problems with SPAM, Glenn...I hope that all of us here have
offered you ways to combat it and still enjoy the reasons why you have
electronic mail (to include to continue to get all of our email from
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
personal inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org,
blackeagle@SCOUTER.net or email@example.com
professional inquiries via firstname.lastname@example.org
-----FORWARD in service to youth and the nation-----