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Stupid Anti-Spammer Watch: Poo-Flinging Monkeys Visit The Magill Report


By Ken Magill

Imagine walking into your living room to find monkeys flinging poo at each other.

I had the online equivalent of that experience this weekend when I went back to check the comments under last week’s Magill Report newsletter articles.

Surprisingly, under the article “Spamhaus Rising: Or Why Your ESP Has Toughened Up” there was a slew of comments—26 pages of them.

“Wow,” I thought. “This is the kind of action I’ve been looking for.”

Then I saw the content. It was a spill-over argument from Nanae. Ugh.

For those unfamiliar with Nanae, it is an online discussion group for anti-spammers. More importantly, it is a group where the crazies have for the most part run everyone else off.

Nanae is the online discussion-group equivalent of poo-flinging monkeys. When someone disagrees with them, they don’t debate. They name-call and they smear.

Fling. Splat!

Such was the case with one Andrew Stephens, a man the folks at Nanae apparently consider a spammer of the worst sort. For all I know, Stephens could be a spammer who stabs puppies to death with oyster forks and eats their heads raw.

Stephens is not the point. The point is the tactics of his attackers. For one thing, they were anonymous. One posted under the name “Gronk,” for example.

[If they were anonymous, how do I know they were Nanae participants? Because a parallel, related discussion—if that’s the word—was happening in the group, as well.]

Anonymous attack comments are the worst form of Internet cowardice.

Second, they posted information apparently solely in an attempt to smear Stephens, references to records that indicate he has a criminal past, for example—something he admits.

They also posted what looks to be his home address and a claim he is or has been a deadbeat dad.

What does any of this have to do with a debate over anti-spam outfit Spamhaus and its power in the email ecosphere? Nothing.

To be fair, Stephens was no innocent in the Magill Report poo-flinging extravaganza. He called Nanae out first and was responsible for the vast majority of the 26 pages of commentary.

So what did I do? I deleted the entire thread.

Here’s the deal: No one loves a spirited debate more than I. I don’t even necessarily mind name calling (poo-flinging monkeys, anyone?). But smear tactics will not be tolerated in The Magill Report’s comments no matter who they’re used against.

Message to Nanae participants: You hate me. Why would you give me page views?

When I launched The Magill Report, I decided not to moderate the comments—mostly out of laziness, frankly. I’d rather not have to start now. So let’s keep the poo-flinging where it belongs. It has a perfectly fine home on Nanae.

On a side note: Armageddon is most certainly upon us. How else to explain me as a voice of civility?


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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Andrew Stephens
Date: 2013-07-06 10:42:57

This tells it all..
Posted by: Not PV
Date: 2012-02-24 13:51:13
Subject: Laughing

I'm just happy about PV being rick rolled on nanae. Worthed it.
Posted by: Andrew Stephens
Date: 2012-02-23 20:09:18
Subject: Just an observation

I just had to point out the totally lack of professionalism, irrational requests, and unwarranted hate that spills from the seams at NANAE. These people are the worst of the worst and it shines through from the way they speak...Comne on guys, where is the corroboration? Where are the facts? Where is the decency to at least stop posting Anonymous smears like Magill respectfully asked you to in this very article? ANONYMOUS SMEAR _________________ Posted by: uhClem Date: 2012-02-23 13:26:00 "kooks and those who make themselves NANAE chewtoys" ANONYMOUS SMEAR ----------------------------------------- "those clueless individuals" Posted by: PV Date: 2012-02-23 10:32:03 "village idiot" REGURGITATION OF SPAMHAUS' LIES ------------------------------------------------------ Posted by: Jim Higgins Date: 2012-02-22 15:31:34 "the loons"
Posted by: uhClem
Date: 2012-02-23 13:26:00

You really should spell out that NANAE is a usenet newsgroup and give the full name. Yes, it has become a kookfest, with little signal. (I tried to walk away and have so far only succeeded in posting anymore.) I'm astounded by the amount of effort kooks and those who make themselves NANAE chewtoys will spend trying to 'win" the poo fights. It is often hard to keep up when only lurking. The amount of time spent by those posting is crazy. I guess it is an addiction... Aside from the kook wars, the other bothersome aspect is those clueless individuals who post in NANAE looking to have an IP range delisted from somewhere. Instead of getting a boilerplate "this isn't the remove list you were looking for" response, they quickly become the object of yet another round of kick the clueless. I suppose if filtered well enough, NANAE can be useful. Sadly, there are some valuable posters who can't help themselves but to engage in the poo fights.
Posted by: PV
Date: 2012-02-23 10:32:03
Subject: noncorporeal entities don't hate people

Back in the nineties when your newsletter was more widely propogated, you definitely had some anti-fans in nanae, mostly because you continuously confused being anti-spam with being anti-commerce. Before NANAE's current village idiot started acting like an ass in your comments, the discussion on nanae about the "toughen up" article was mostly positive. Myself, I was proud of you for being so even-handed about it, given your long history of disliking blocklists. This current article is obvious hit-bait, and it should be removed.
Posted by: Andrew Stephens
Date: 2012-02-22 18:03:24
Subject: Notice that they still lean on the ROKSO listing

This is just a continuation of the last poo-flinging match, but this time...I am not playing. Yes I am on ROKSO... NO, what Spamhaus states is not true (about 20% of it is and I'll admit to what is...but it is my historical past). NO, I refuse to allow the crazies from Nanae to beat me up while my back is turned and if anyone here or elsewhere wants to get to know me, I am not hiding. I have never been reprimanded, arrested, or otherwise had a negative report on my business practices from ANYONE outside of Spamhaus and Nanae and I will not standby and be attacked without warrant. If I am a spammer...PROVE IT! If I am a spam-supporter, SUE ME! If I think that all businesses should be awarded the same opportunities online and those opportunities need to be in the hands of their respective government's laws...I must be crazy or a Capitalist...pick one. My business is an S-Corp in Ohio and I have never even seen a 'B' rating on the BBB. I am A+ by all of my peers, customers, and every vendor that is not being attacked by Spamhaus and their over-aggressive DNSBL or the crazies on Nanae. If I do something me out, but don't smear me for transgressions I have not committed or are ancient history (a decade ago and prior to my business or family). Nanae disgusts me, but it is my Soap Opera and I am addicted. Sorry it spilled over on your blog Ken and I'll be sure to turn around and walk away this time...hit me in the back Nanae, I have my vest on.
Posted by: Jim Higgins
Date: 2012-02-22 15:31:34
Subject: Response

I posted one comment in the deleted thread you mention. I used my real name and I didn't trash Andrew Stephens with irrelevant info. He is a ROKSO listed spam supporter. He has garnered 3 or 4 new listings in the past 96 hours. Those are facts, not smears. You may not like Spamhaus and its ROKSO listings, but neither do we in NANAE like Andrew coming there to to trash the group because he's angry over the very negative effect his ROKSO listings have had on his spam support business. NANAE is actually fairly quiet when the loons who also happen to be spam supporters leave. Just as you don't like certain forms of comment to your blog, neither do the folks in the PETA group care for recipes for fried kitten, nor NANAE for the ravings of Stephens.
Posted by: Angel
Date: 2012-02-22 14:56:59
Subject: Thank you

Yes, thank you for this well thought out comment on the unfortunate events on your site. Yes I am a NANAE regular. And I find some of the attacks on Mr Stephens, especially those that drag his family into the fray, to be rather distasteful. But he is, as you correctly pointed out, hardly innocent in that department himself either. My personal experience is that while NANAE does have a fair number of trolls, kooks and other assorted crazies, one generally reaps what one sows there. Ask a polite question and you usually get a few useful answers, although yes, you may have to pick them out from a bunch of less helpful responses. But come in there with guns blazing and several chips on your shoulder like Mr. Stephens did and well... And no, I do not hate you. As far as I know, you do not spam, you just give your opinions here in a well thought out manner. I wish more of the NANAE regulars were like you. :-) I'm sorry to hear that the worst of the flame war spilled over to here. I do hope it won't happen again, but with NANAE, you never know. Well, have a nice day!