1994-08-09 - (fwd) Anonymous posters & Misinformation = Net pollution

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From: nzook@math.utexas.edu
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: a516b245d86064c35f149064ed87b790d53b08ff60067d6af73762449f89e22d
Message ID: <9408091458.AA06151@vendela.ma.utexas.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-08-09 15:02:22 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 9 Aug 94 08:02:22 PDT

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From: nzook@math.utexas.edu
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 94 08:02:22 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: (fwd) Anonymous posters & Misinformation = Net pollution
Message-ID: <9408091458.AA06151@vendela.ma.utexas.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Path: math.utexas.edu!news.dell.com!swrinde!cs.utexas.edu!uwm.edu!reuter.cse.ogi.edu!netnews.nwnet.net!news.u.washington.edu!mcdaniel
From: mcdaniel@u.washington.edu (McDaniel)
Newsgroups: talk.politics.misc,news.admin.policy
Subject: Anonymous posters & Misinformation = Net pollution
Date: 7 Aug 1994 08:13:45 GMT
Organization: University of Washington
Lines: 39
Message-ID: <32253p$220@news.u.washington.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: stein4.u.washington.edu
Keywords: misinformation disinformation propaganda net anon anonymous
Xref: math.utexas.edu talk.politics.misc:239273 news.admin.policy:19179

The problem:  Anonymous posters supplying pseudo-news reports or
otherwise wasting bandwidth in groups more concerened with fact
or atleast genuine concerns (such as political talk groups and
sci groups.)

The soultion: Limited anonymous posters to forums where accountability
for what one says is of little concern (such as rec groups where
applicable.)   OR provide the owners of moderated groups with detailed
accounts of the true identity of any anonymous poster who post to
a serious newsgroup and make that procedure known to the would-be
anonymous user.

I attempted recently to secure the actual address of an anon poster
who deliberetly spread misinformation concerning a non-existant
U.S. Presidential Executive Order and a news-look-alike story dealing
with proven falsehoods.

Needless to say the administrator of the popular anon.penet.fi server
has not been cooperative.  I suggest that groups wishing to deal with
issues based a little stronger in reality ban anonymous posters and
encourage their posters NEVER to repeat information supplied by anonymous
posters elsewhere.  Some groups have already come to that same conclusion.

I believe that anonymous posting is a valuable service in many forums.
However, it seems that service is being abused in political and technical

I suppose yet another solution would be to make widely known the
general untrustability of anonymous posters in groups where truth and
fact are paramount.  But this letter should go a tiny ways towards that