Discussion:
Time to change the Group's Hosting?
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Wibs
2019-09-25 17:05:29 UTC
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With all the problems that the soc.genealogy.medieval group has, with unmoderated posts from the sex-obsessed, the religio-fantasists, and others that are not interested in serious medieval genealogy and allied subjects (for example, relevant heraldry, DNA discussions, medieval terms, medieval Latin, etc), might I humbly suggest that this group moves to another host, other than Google Groups, where posts can undergo, at least, cursory moderation before appearing?

Google Groups have shown little or no interest in the problems that we face.

If the general consensus is that a new host is beneficial, we can then ask for suggestions, along with the associated benefits of each (membership, approvals, banning, archiving, etc).

I was only discussing this in a dream last week with my local dominatrix, who I was able to get in touch with after her number was revealed to me by a long lost half second-cousin, once removed, who had died two hundred years ago, and she agreed also.

Wibs
Vance Mead
2019-09-25 17:38:50 UTC
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There are moderated discussion boards for genealogy and medieval genealogy. Would moving mean discarding the accumulated posts of the last 25 years or it would it be possible to transfer them?
John Higgins
2019-09-25 22:34:52 UTC
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Post by Vance Mead
There are moderated discussion boards for genealogy and medieval genealogy. Would moving mean discarding the accumulated posts of the last 25 years or it would it be possible to transfer them?
I think the preservation of the archives is an important point - particularly since the Rootsweb archives of Gen-Medieval (to the extent they've been recovered) are much less functional than they previously were. The archives are an important source of information, even if very few people are currently posting.

The Peerage News group on Google Groups used to (and perhaps still does) have a policy of permitting posts only from individuals who had previously applied (and been given permission) to post. Could this work for SGM?

I've found that "report abuse" on Google Groups stops the vast majority of the problem posts - although admittedly I have to re-report every time Schmeeckle starts a new thread of his trash.
taf
2019-09-25 22:51:18 UTC
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Post by John Higgins
The Peerage News group on Google Groups used to (and perhaps still does)
have a policy of permitting posts only from individuals who had previously
applied (and been given permission) to post. Could this work for SGM?
The short answer is no. No change can be made to the conformation of SGM. The only option would be to create a new group and hope enough participants migrate to the new venue to make it worth having (this was tried once before and almost nobody moved).

taf
Ian Goddard
2019-09-25 22:50:36 UTC
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Post by Wibs
With all the problems that the soc.genealogy.medieval group has, with unmoderated posts from the sex-obsessed, the religio-fantasists, and others that are not interested in serious medieval genealogy and allied subjects (for example, relevant heraldry, DNA discussions, medieval terms, medieval Latin, etc), might I humbly suggest that this group moves to another host, other than Google Groups, where posts can undergo, at least, cursory moderation before appearing?
Google Groups have shown little or no interest in the problems that we face.
AIUI the way usenet works is that there is no single host. It's a peer
to peer system. For instance I don't go near Google Groups to get a
feed; I get it from my ISP (Plusnet as it happens although in the past
I've also got it from other ISPs). I think they in turn buy the service
from another provider, GigaNews. I've also, in the past, used other
feeds, Eternal September and Individual.net.

These services exchange messages with each other and Google Groups is
simply one of them. That particular service started out as an archive,
DejaNews with no facility for posting although they added it before
being bought by Google. I'm not sure ow possible t would be for the
rest of the peer group to simply cut Google out. Similar problems
affected soc.genealogy.britain. I think pressure was brought on Google
and they seem to have simply dropped the group entirely. Yes, the
nuisance spammers have gone. So have all the old posts that Deja and
Google had been archiving. That's not a price worth paying.

I don't use email or a web interface to follow the group; I use a
specialist newsgroup client. It's actually the same client I use for
email. In effect it's Mozilla Thunderbird (in fact it's the version
bundled into the descendant of the old Netscape Suite).

All I have to do with a thread from the spammers or one of the
occasional loonies is hide the thread and all the existing posts and all
the later ones disappear. It's simple to do, just select the thread in
the thread list and type k (for kill) and make sure that the
View>Threads>Ignored threads box is unticked, which it is by default.

As the spammers multiple posts seem to be on a few threads with few
additional ones added that's not much of a burden and it's one that
avoids the downside of losing the Google archive.

Another approach is to subscribe to a service that does offer some
filtering. Other members might be able to make recommendations.

The main point, however, is that there are ways of handling the
situation that don't lose the archive and don't tie up someone's time
moderating the group.

My two pennorth, for what it's worth.

Ian
Richard Smith
2019-09-25 23:26:29 UTC
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Post by Ian Goddard
AIUI the way usenet works is that there is no single host. It's a peer
to peer system. [...]
These services exchange messages with each other and Google Groups is
simply one of them. That particular service started out as an archive,
DejaNews with no facility for posting although they added it before
being bought by Google. I'm not sure ow possible t would be for the
rest of the peer group to simply cut Google out.
It's not remotely practicable. Despite the decline of Usenet, there
must still be thousands of Usenet servers across the world. There's no
single list of them and you don't need to agree to any particular
policies in order to operate one – you just need to persuade the
operators of another Usenet server to give you a feed to and from
theirs. To cut Google out, pretty much every server operator would need
to agree not to provide Google with a Usenet feed. That's never going
to happen, if only because a group of people who have no way of knowing
of each other's existence have no way of reaching an agreement. Things
would be different if Google were so self-evidently breaking Usenet that
everyone could independently reach the conclusion that they need to be
cut off, but that's not the case.

Of course, a server operator is perfectly at liberty to drop all posts
originating from Google Groups, but as they're far and away the largest
source of legitimate Usenet posts (as well as being a significant source
of spam), doing that would effectively render their service unusable.
No commercial provider would do that.

Richard
Peter Stewart
2019-09-25 23:31:49 UTC
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Post by Wibs
With all the problems that the soc.genealogy.medieval group has, with
unmoderated posts from the sex-obsessed, the religio-fantasists, and
others that are not interested in serious medieval genealogy and
allied subjects (for example, relevant heraldry, DNA discussions,
medieval terms, medieval Latin, etc), might I humbly suggest that this
group moves to another host, other than Google Groups, where posts can
undergo, at least, cursory moderation before appearing?
Google Groups have shown little or no interest in the problems that we face.
AIUI the way usenet works is that there is no single host.  It's a peer
to peer system.  For instance I don't go near Google Groups to get a
feed; I get it from my ISP (Plusnet as it happens although in the past
I've also got it from other ISPs).  I think they in turn buy the service
from another provider, GigaNews.  I've also, in the past, used other
feeds, Eternal September and Individual.net.
These services exchange messages with each other and Google Groups is
simply one of them.  That particular service started out as an archive,
DejaNews with no facility for posting although they added it before
being bought by Google.  I'm not sure ow possible t would be for the
rest of the peer group to simply cut Google out.  Similar problems
affected soc.genealogy.britain.  I think pressure was brought on Google
and they seem to have simply dropped the group entirely.  Yes, the
nuisance spammers have gone.  So have all the old posts that Deja and
Google had been archiving.  That's not a price worth paying.
I don't use email or a web interface to follow the group; I use a
specialist newsgroup client.  It's actually the same client I use for
email.  In effect it's Mozilla Thunderbird (in fact it's the version
bundled into the descendant of the old Netscape Suite).
All I have to do with a thread from the spammers or one of the
occasional loonies is hide the thread and all the existing posts and all
the later ones disappear.  It's simple to do, just select the thread in
the thread list and type k (for kill) and make sure that the
View>Threads>Ignored threads box is unticked, which it is by default.
As the spammers multiple posts seem to be on a few threads with few
additional ones added that's not much of a burden and it's one that
avoids the downside of losing the Google archive.
Another approach is to subscribe to a service that does offer some
filtering.  Other members might be able to make recommendations.
The main point, however, is that there are ways of handling the
situation that don't lose the archive and don't tie up someone's time
moderating the group.
My two pennorth, for what it's worth.
Though I appreciate the level of detail in your post, it is mostly
double-Dutch to me. However, as far as I understand it I access SGM
posts in the same way you do, via Usenet and Mozilla Thunderbird. The
entire threads or specific posts of no interest to me are also no bother
- I just don't open them and then select "Mark newsgroup read" so that
they no longer obtrude in bold letters. I did try typing "k" for kill
once, but this didn't work (probably my own fault), while choosing
"Ignore thread" each time (that does work as you describe, until the
pests start new ones) seems to me more trouble than marking all unwanted
posts as read.

Peter Stewart

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