IUBio GIL .. BIOSCI/Bionet News .. Biosequences .. Software .. FTP

New Type of Newsgroup: "Moderated (only to filter spam)"

William R. Morgan wmorgan at ACS.WOOSTER.EDU
Tue Jul 22 16:44:54 EST 1997

Dear CELEGANS subscribers:

As indicated in the announcement below (which you may have already
received), the BIOSCI administration is actively pursuing mechanisms for
minimizing unwanted e-mails (spams) posted to BIOSCI newsgroups.  This
effort may explain the delay in actually implementing our moderation
request, but hopefully soon CELEGANS will be spam-free.  I will keep you

Bill Morgan
CELEGANS discussion leader

>Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:04:22 -0700 (PDT)
>From: BIOSCI Administrator <biosci-help at net.bio.net>
>Subject: New Type of Newsgroup: "Moderated (only to filter spam)"
>To: nobody at net.bio.net
>Reply-to: biosci-help at net.bio.net
>X-Really-To: bionews at net.bio.net
>Newsgroups: bionet.announce
>As part of our effort to eliminate "spam" messages which are offensive
>and distracting to the scientific discussions which the Biosci
>newsgroups are designed to facilitate, we are creating a new type of
>moderated newsgroup -- "Moderated (only to filter out spam)".
>Our rationalie is that only what usenet recognizes as "moderated"
>newsgroups can filter mail postings, yet it has proven difficult to
>find volunteer moderators from each newsgroup.
>Our intention is to use a combination of human and software filters to
>eliminate the most egregious examples of spam. Since we value
>diversity of opinion in scientific communications, and recognize that
>our efforts are unavoidably subject to both Type I and Type II errors,
>we aim to err on the side of allowing arguably scientifically relevant
>communications to be posted.
>We intend to convert all the unmoderated bionet newsgroups to the new
>status as soon as possible, and forsee two situations:
>(1) Where a charter exists for an established but unmoderated group,
>we will take the current charter and add the following language (taken
>>From the policy statement which we send to anyone who wishes to start
>a new newsgroup or convert an unmoderated to moderated newsgroup, and
>suitably customized to the newsgroup where necessary) on "Moderation
>"Moderation Policy: Mass-posted commercial messages, chain letters,
>and similar postings not germane to the stated purpose of the charter
>will be deleted without comment. Inappropriate messages posted in good
>faith will be returned to the sender where feasible.  Messages not
>strictly within the charter but likely to be of interest to many
>subscribers will be accepted.  Use of the newsgroup for commercial
>purposes is prohibited."
>The proposed new charter will be posted to the newsgroup for a short
>comment period.
>(2) Where a charter does not exist for an established unmoderated
>group, we will solicit the newsgroup's discussion leader(s), where
>listed, to draft a non-controversial charter and submit it to the
>newsgroup for a short comment period.
>If at any time a moderated-for-spam newsgroup wishes to convert to a
>regular "moderated" group, with its own moderator, we shall be happy
>to treat such a request just as we do the request to change from
>unmoderated to moderated status.
>Finally, if a currently moderated group wishes to take advantage of
>the spam filtering software to ease the administrative burden on the
>moderator, we will discuss the logistics and policy guidelines with
>the group's moderator. (We will notify moderators when we are ready to
>offer this facility; we are not currently ready.)
>We hope that these new arrangements will protect the integrity of our
>newsgroups and allow us to focus on other ways of improving Biosci. We
>welcome your suggestions about this proposed policy change.
>Thank you for your patience and understanding as we deal with the spam
>Serge Taylor
>Biosci Administrator
>Stanford University Libraries

William R. Morgan
The College of Wooster
Department of Biology			Phone:  330-263-2026
931 College St.                         FAX:    330-263-2378
Wooster, OH  44691                      E-mail: wmorgan at acs.wooster.edu

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