What is "spam"?

NOTE: The word "spam" is often falsely referred to by "control freaks."

NOTE: In this posting, quotes from the FAQ are in this color,  and where I've not written the word

"NOTE:"  Quotes from the FAQ are not included in the below 5 items.

Contrary to the lies of the propagandists, the one's who try to censor the proponent of the paranormal in  *certain newsgroups, SPAM is not:

              1. A mention of a WWW page like:


              2. A mention of a WWW site like:

                 "skeptics what they do and why" from YAHOO


              3. Necessarily the same answer in 1 or 2
                  newsgroups to a number of similar
                  posts, ie: "flames," or
                  about the same subject, or answering
                  essentially the same ideas with
                  the same wording _more than once_.

              4. Posting SENSE HONESTY AND CIVILITY repeats
                  with the same post appearing about once
                  every 6 months: /intelllig.html, unless,
                  perhaps, an excessive portion of the post
                  has the same wording posted excessively

              5. Posting announcements periodically, with
                  the same wording about CHARTERS of a
                  newsgroup, or FAQs, or general activities
                  that have occurred recently in a newsgroup,
                  or newsgroups.

This, also, indicates what has been called "spam" and is actually not that...:

Propaganda writing, which could discourage people from reposting, has been placed in the newsgroups.  I have answered this propaganda in the newsgroup news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.  My reply makes the following clear, and because the detailed rebuttal to it was not considered valid, the following remains fact:

                       1. It is permissible to reference your URL in posts, to point to information about pseudo-skeptic fanatics.  Banners placed on the pages
                           do not, necessarily, cause it to be "spam."

                       2. It is permissible to repost below the spam thresholds.

                       3. In your reposting, you may place identical wording that invites others to repost, and those
                           words, properly placed, will not add to the count that would cause your writing to be "spam."

There is other propaganda about so-called "spam" which you the reader should be aware of, to counter such lies when written to your ISP.

Often enough, an agenda is thwarted by a group, such as that group calling themselves "skeptics" -- actually pseudo-skeptic fanatics -- and rather than allow that agenda to be hindered, they will call announcements "spam," and complain with lies in multiple e-mails to Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Here is what "SPAM" is, according to The Net Abuse FAQ 1998/04/24 19:21:26 $, $Revision: 3.1 $ -- at:


          ...posted an unacceptably high number
          of times to one or more newsgroups."

Here is what "SPAM" is not, according to the same source:

          CONTENT IS IRRELEVANT. 'Spam' doesn't
          mean "ads." It doesn't mean "abuse."
          It doesn't mean "posts whose content
          I object to."

So, according to the official USENET document, spam is not the mention of a URL concerning SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA, which pseudo-skeptics object to, nor is it SKEPTICS WHAT THEY DO AND WHY, which pseudo-skeptics have tried to censor me from referring to with written FAQs (FAQ example 2) and a phony CHARTER (for a newsgroup they have no ethical right to attempt to make policy about).  The fact that "psicounsel" is used as a commercial site does not make it "spam" either.  Even when commercial services are advertised, directly, that does not make it "spam."

The alt.paranormal FAQ and CHARTER

What is the BI?

       3.2) What is the Breidbart Index (BI)?

       The Breidbart Index (BI) is a measure of the
       breadth of any multi-posting, cross-posting,
       or combination of the two. BI is defined as
       the sum of the square roots of how many
       newsgroups each article was posted to. If
       that number approaches 20, then the posts
       will probably be cancelled by somebody.

       For instance, four identical posts to nine
       newsgroups each (4 times 3) has a BI of 12.
       However, nine identical posts to four
       newsgroups each (9 times 2) has a BI of 18.

Generally, "spam" refers to cross-posting, or multiple posting, an originated message, not a number of individual replies to messages.  In my opinion, commonly practiced methods of "spam" are probably the most often used criteria for enforcement: spam cancels.

The following, from "...Current Usenet Spam Thresholds..."       in my opinion, probably applies to the above paragraph:

      This is an informal FAQ aimed at clarity
      and understanding, not anal-retentive

Few people deliberately "spam" messages by replying.

"Spam" is "unwanted" posts, and when a person writes a subject, and you reply, your answer will seldom be considered "unwanted" by an unbiased observer.  The person you reply to may not "want" it, but that is of no consequence in consideration of what "spam" is, or is not.

A person deliberately setting out to "spam" (with the typical motivations of propaganda or advertising) would seldom take the time necessary to answer individual posts, with repeated answers, and manually edited quotes of each individual poster.

Even if _replies_ are considered "spam," 20 identical messages to 1 newsgroup would be required during a 45 day period.

Multi-posting is posting manually or with a computer program to 2 or more newsgroups, by placing each message in a different newsgroup.  Cross-posting is placing one message, and assigning the newsgroups it is sent to in the header.

Now, quoting exactly:

        The Breidbart Index (BI) is a measure of
        the breadth of any multi-posting,
        cross-posting, or combination of the two.

...and exactly, from

        FAQ: Current Usenet spam thresholds
        and guidelines:

        A spam, EMP, or ECP then refers to a posting
        that has been posted to many places.

The following is from:


     FAQ: Current Usenet spam thresholds
          and guidelines

     Many people use these terms inappropriately,
     which leads to confusion in discussions.

So, let us be clear, here, about what "spam" is, exactly, and what current consensus spam thresholds exist.

     Excessive Multi-Posting (EMP) means the
     same as the term "spam" usually does, but
     is more accurate and self-explanatory. It
     means, essentially, too many separate
     copies of a substantively identical


     1. byte-for-byte identical messages

     2. otherwise identical postings minimally
        customized for each group it appears in.


        "customized for each group"  The main problem
        with spamming is cross-posting to many groups.
        This is the primary aim in the writing of this FAQ,
        obviously to eliminate the excessive cross-posting
        and multiple-posting.

     3. advertising the same service.


        Again, note what the FAQ writers are trying to stop,
        mainly, and that certainly does not mean they
        are principally aiming for people who reply
        to one, or possibly two newsgroups, the same
        reply to similar posts.

     4. articles that consist solely of the same signature


        The writers of the FAQ, in my opinion, have the
        huge multi-level-marketing schemes in mind, which
        produce massive  amounts of the same
        telephone number or URL, which when picked up on
        USENET, get posts cancelled.

     5, articles which consist of inclusions of
         other user's postings, but are otherwise


        The above means what it says, "identical."  If
        you answer with a similar meaning, but altogether
        different words many times, your posts are not
        "identical."  You should quote part of the posters
        writing in your reply.

What does it take to be a "spammer," something we all want to avoid?

The thresholds for spam cancels are based _only_ on one or more of the following measures:

For one:

      "The BI is 20 or greater over a 45 day period."

For another:

      ...is a continuation of a previous EMP/ECP,
      within a 45 day sliding window. (ECP-Excessive
      Crossposting --).

      To get an excessively high BI, posts must be
      repeated within a 45 day period.


      If a BI applies to one newsgroup, the square root
      of 1 is 1, so 20 "identical" posted messages would be
      required within a 45 day period, to be "spam," in
      one newsgroup.  One could make an announcement nearly
      every other day and it would not be "spam."

      When a _BI_ applies with 2 newsgroups, 14 identical
      posts to 2 newsgroups produces a BI of 20.  The square
      root of 2 is 1.41 -- 1.41 X 14 = approximately 20

      When a _BI_ applies with 4 newsgroups, 10 identical
      posts to 4 newsgroups produces a BI of 20.  The square
      root of 4 is 2 -- 2 X 10 = 20

Footnote: *certain

      alt.paranormal/alt.astrology is where proponents of these subjects post.  Others post, but they are not proponents.  Instead of just posting,
      or just disagreeing whether the subjects have validity, they attempt to control the activities in these newsgroups.