Fuzzy Matching Various Various Various
In these last days of the Usenet, commercial vultures are hanging about
and grepping through news like crazy to find email addresses they can
foist off their scams and products to. As a reaction to this, many
people have started putting nonsense addresses into their
lines. I think this is counterproductive---it makes it difficult for
people to send you legitimate mail in response to things you write, as
well as making it difficult to see who wrote what. This rewriting may
perhaps be a bigger menace than the unsolicited commercial email itself
in the end.
The biggest problem I have with email spam is that it comes in under false pretenses. I press g and Gnus merrily informs me that I have 10 new emails. I say ``Golly gee! Happy is me!'' and select the mail group, only to find two pyramid schemes, seven advertisements (``New! Miracle tonic for growing full, lustrous hair on your toes!'') and one mail asking me to repent and find some god.
This is annoying.
The way to deal with this is having Gnus split out all spam into a
spam' mail group (see Splitting Mail).
First, pick one (1) valid mail address that you can be reached at, and
put it in your
From header of all your news articles. (I've
email@example.com', but for many addresses on the form
firstname.lastname@example.org' will be a better choice. Ask your
sysadm whether your sendmail installation accepts keywords in the local
part of the mail address.)
(setq message-default-news-headers "From: Lars Magne Ingebrigtsen <email@example.com>\n")
Then put the following split rule in
(see Fancy Mail Splitting):
( ... (to "firstname.lastname@example.org" (| ("subject" "re:.*" "misc") ("references" ".*@.*" "misc") "spam")) ... )
This says that all mail to this address is suspect, but if it has a
Subject that starts with a `
Re:' or has a
header, it's probably ok. All the rest goes to the `
(This idea probably comes from Tim Pierce.)
In addition, many mail spammers talk directly to your
and do not include your email address explicitly in the
header. Why they do this is unknown---perhaps it's to thwart this
thwarting scheme? In any case, this is trivial to deal with---you just
put anything not addressed to you in the `
spam' group by ending
your fancy split rule in this way:
( ... (to "larsi" "misc") "spam")
In my experience, this will sort virtually everything into the right
group. You still have to check the `
spam' group from time to time to
check for legitimate mail, though. If you feel like being a good net
citizen, you can even send off complaints to the proper authorities on
each unsolicited commercial email---at your leisure.
If you are also a lazy net citizen, you will probably prefer complaining
automatically with the `
gnus-junk.el' package, available FOR FREE
Since most e-mail spam is sent automatically, this may reconcile the
cosmic balance somewhat.
This works for me. It allows people an easy way to contact me (they can
just press r in the usual way), and I'm not bothered at all with
spam. It's a win-win situation. Forging
From headers to point
to non-existent domains is yucky, in my opinion.