What Detritus Does To Fight "Spam"

We here at Detritus hate "spam." No...we're not referring to the delicious Hormel canned meat. We're referring to the unsolicited, unwanted, bulk, advertising email that has become a major problem on the internet.

When someone broadcasts unsolicited mass email or newsgroup postings to spread a message, it makes it difficult for everyone to find what they're looking for. It's what has been classically referred to as the "signal-to-noise ratio," and we want to help everyone keep the internet's useful information readily-available, while keeping "junk mail" to a minimum.

This "junk mail" has been referred to as "spam," in honor of Monty-Python's classic Spam skit, in which the customers can only order a menu item if it contains the processed meat. That is how most Internet users feel about these types of messages, and only being able to read newsgroup messages and email if they're willing to deal with the garbage.

Download the RealPlayer! The Spam Song

Download the RealPlayer! The Whole Skit!

For this reason, our policy is that we don't allow our network to be used for spamming. We will cancel any user's email account without notice if he or she is found to be using our network for sending mass, unsolicited email & newsgroup posts.

We also do what we can to fight incoming junk email. Some of the current methods we use to fight "spam" are...

  1. We wrote a CGI program to do some serious damage to the "harvester" spiders, which pull email addresses off of web pages. Not only does it make the spammers spam other spammers (which ends up making them spam each other!), it gets their user information and makes them spam themselves! Plus, it sends their spam directly to their providers, giving their ISPs an immediate tip to their immoral online activities. You can check it out on this page. Feel free to link to this page directly from your own site.
  2. With the help of www.junkbusters.com, we have created and published a "Spam Offer," which effectively gives us the right to take legal action against spammers. Basically, this allows us to collect $10 for each piece of junk email that is sent to any email address at the "detritus.org" domain.
  3. We have joined the "Fight Spam on the Internet" campaign. To see what you can do to help, please visit the site for yourself and get involved!
  4. We constantly maintain a database which both blocks incoming mail from known spammers, and disallows known spammers to send their excrement through our servers to other victims.
  5. When we are able to find a valid return address or telephone number in the "spam" email, we contact the spammer directly, to let them know that sending out UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email) is unappreciated and that it has potentially hurt their business far more that it could have helped it.
  6. We regularly remove all "public" email addresses from the www.iemmc.org database, which is partially maintained by the "Grand Daddy" of all spam promoters, www.cyberpromo.com.
  7. Some of us use a great shareware product called "Spam Hater" which analyses a spam email and prepares a reply, sending a copy of our "Notification and Offer" from our "Spam Offer."

For more information on what you can do to fight "spam" email, please check out the following sites.