non-censorous spam control (was Re: Spam is Information?)

Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM dlv at
Sat Aug 2 08:30:42 PDT 1997

"William H. Geiger III" <whgiii at> writes:

> In <199707311120.MAA00669 at>, on 07/31/97
>    at 12:20 PM, Adam Back <aba at> said:
> >Another longer term way to improve the situation is to charge some small
> >token amount per article, just to encourage people to use it with some
> >intelligence (use cross posts rather than separately reposting to each
> >group).
> This will not work!!!
> Charging for e-mail/news posts will no nothing to prevent spam and more
> than likely increase the noise on such lists. It is the spamers who have
> the money to post volumns of their crap. Allso I think you will find that
> it will be the fanatics who will think it worth the $$$ to get their
> message out.

In all fairness, it would decrease the "spam" because some spammers are
certain to be unwilling to pay for braodcasting the kind of crap they
now broadcast for a flat fee. However it would not eliminate the "spam"
and it would damped the "signal" more than it would damped the "noise".

In my opinion, the recipient of the "spam" should not have to pay
anything. Now, some service charge per packets transmitted or the
time spent online. Their users are therefore pushed into trying to
censor "spam", flames, or anything else they find off-topic. Even
when there's no monetary cost, some people use crappy software to
read usenet or mailing lists, and it takes them time to ignore what
they don't like, and they value their time and become angry.

> >Also, this might be an interesting information market model because
> >technical experts might even find themselves with a well paid job of
> >answering technical questions in newsgroups.
> There is a web site that is doing exactly this. They provide forums for
> users to post technical questions in which "experts" will answer them.
> Upon receiving the answer the person who posted the question is requested
> to rate the answer. I haven't been on the site in awhile but the last time
> I was there they were working on a mechinism to compensate their "experts"
> for answering questions. They had a point system based on the difaculty of
> the questions. After registering with them and obtaining a certain number
> of points for correctly answering questions you would be classified as an
> "expert" for that forum which then would make you eligable for
> compensation. I believe all funds were to be generated through web page
> advertisement.
> I'll see if I can find the URL for the site and post it to the list.

Most of my posts on newsgroups like or comp.unix.questions are
answers to other people's questions.  I'd love to see this concept
extended to Usenet - sort of like "shareware".


Dr.Dimitri Vulis KOTM
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps

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