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Please complain to Google about their spamming of Usenet

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Wally J

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Dec 6, 2023, 12:13:32 PM12/6/23
to
Given a call to Mountainview is never picked up by a human being...
<https://i.postimg.cc/d388rqkj/google02.jpg> +1 (650) 253-0000

If you care about either Usenet or the DejaNews DejaGoogle search
engine (which provides links to specific Usenet posts), then...

*Please Do This!*
<https://groups.google.com/g/google-usenet/about>
Which will look like this:
<https://i.postimg.cc/3JzWxG3f/please-do-this.jpg>

The DejaGoogle search engine is useful to everyone (not just us) because:
a. DejaGoogle doesn't require an account or paying for retention
b. DejaGoogle links work for everyone (even your 99 year old mother)
c. DejaGoogle only needs a web browser (which everyone has)

The problem with all this spam from Google servers is that even finding the
URI to an article posted _today_ is a mess of wading through that garbage.
<https://i.postimg.cc/yxpSLVrr/Google-Groups-Usenet-Portal-spam-20231206-730am.jpg>

Details follow...

That is the easiest way (I know of) to complain to Google about
their Google-Groups servers allowing Google Usenet portal spam
(which ruins their own Usenet DejaGoogle search engine output)
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android>
You're welcome to upload this screenshot showing the problem:
<https://i.postimg.cc/fyCXPjpR/Google-Groups-Usenet-Portal-spam-20231206-730am.jpg>

Together, maybe we can get Google to at least look at the problem we face.

*Please do this today:*
1. Go to <https://groups.google.com/g/google-usenet/about>
2. Click the "Gear" icon at the top right of that web page
3. Select the option to "Send feedback to Google"
Box 1: "Tell us what prompted this feedback."
Box 2: "A screenshot will help us better understand your feedback."

Optionally, you can do the deluxe version of sending feedback to Google.
A. In tab 1, go to <https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android>
B. Take a screenshot & save it to a date-related name you can easily find.
C. In tab 2, go to <https://groups.google.com/g/google-usenet/about>
D. Click the "Gear" icon at the top right of that "about" web page
E. In the first box "Tell us what prompted this feedback."
tell Google the problem in a way that Google 'may' care about.

For example, tell them something like "Your Google Groups servers
are allowing obvious off-topic rampant spamming by few individuals
<https://groups.google.com>
such that your own Google Groups Server Search Engine
<http://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android>
is now useless because a few users are abusing your Google servers."

F. In the second box upload that screenshot of the first tab.
G. Press the "Send" button on the bottom right of that second tab.

Here's what it looks like, with every step above documented below.
<https://i.postimg.cc/25gytfM9/googlebug1.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/sX0KBm6Z/googlebug2.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/mgt9kRxV/googlebug3.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/Mp2wMbN4/googlebug4.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/CLVYdsW-2/googlebug5.jpg>
<https://i.postimg.cc/4ysLRySW-/googlebug6.jpg>

In summary, I tried contacting Google to find a better way, to no avail.
<https://i.postimg.cc/kgFknPX0/google01.jpg>
So this online complaint form is the only one that I know about.
<https://groups.google.com/g/google-usenet/about>

If you know of a better way to complain about this, please let us know.
--
Together we can get Google to stop spamming their own Usenet search engine.

The Doctor

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Dec 6, 2023, 1:27:24 PM12/6/23
to
In article <ukqa3n$1g7rj$1...@paganini.bofh.team>,
Better yet , Depeer Google Groups!

>--
>Together we can get Google to stop spamming their own Usenet search engine.
>


--
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Merry Christmas 2023 and Happy New year 2024 Beware https://mindspring.com

Alan

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Dec 6, 2023, 1:28:21 PM12/6/23
to
On 2023-12-06 09:13, Wally J wrote:
> Given a call to Mountainview is never picked up by a human being...
> <https://i.postimg.cc/d388rqkj/google02.jpg> +1 (650) 253-0000

I'm sorry, Arlen...

...just what do you think a picture of a smartphone dialing screen proves...

...other that the fact that for all your protestations, it turns out you
actually use an iPhone?

david

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Dec 6, 2023, 3:21:32 PM12/6/23
to
Using <news:ukqefp$sbs1$1...@dont-email.me>, Alan wrote:

> ...just what do you think a picture of a smartphone dialing screen proves...

What were your results when you called Google to help complain?

> ...other that the fact that for all your protestations, it turns out you
> actually use an iPhone?

The image status bar & aspect ratio seems to not be that of an iphone.
But of an iPad.

david

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Dec 6, 2023, 3:26:03 PM12/6/23
to
Using <news:ukqeea$1mnv$2...@gallifrey.nk.ca>, The Doctor wrote:

>>If you know of a better way to complain about this, please let us know.
>
> Better yet , Depeer Google Groups!

Agree that it's highwinds who needs to depeer its google feed.
What's the easiest way to complain directly to highwinds so they get it?

Alan

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Dec 6, 2023, 3:50:48 PM12/6/23
to
Hardly relevant.

The POINT was an iOS device.

Brian Gregory

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Dec 6, 2023, 7:05:51 PM12/6/23
to
Which News server are you using?

I'm using news.individual.net and I don't see anything from Google
Groups here.

--
Brian Gregory (in England).

Wally J

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Dec 6, 2023, 7:42:48 PM12/6/23
to
Brian Gregory <void-invalid...@email.invalid> wrote

> I'm using news.individual.net and I don't see anything from Google
> Groups here.

Even so, you still have the problem described in the original post.

Jörg Lorenz

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Dec 7, 2023, 5:49:47 AM12/7/23
to
On 06.12.23 18:13, Wally J wrote:
> Given a call to Mountainview is never picked up by a human being...
> <https://i.postimg.cc/d388rqkj/google02.jpg> +1 (650) 253-0000
>
> If you care about either Usenet or the DejaNews DejaGoogle search
> engine (which provides links to specific Usenet posts), then...

You are a brain dead idiot.
The smart girls and guys do not use Google in the first place. They use
a decent nntp-server with login and filtering. That would be a place
where they kick you out inevitably after a week max.

And it is none of your business anyway.

--
"Gutta cavat lapidem." (Ovid)

Jörg Lorenz

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Dec 7, 2023, 5:51:01 AM12/7/23
to
Bullshit.

Jörg Lorenz

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Dec 7, 2023, 5:51:01 AM12/7/23
to
On 07.12.23 01:05, Brian Gregory wrote:
> Which News server are you using?
>
> I'm using news.individual.net and I don't see anything from Google
> Groups here.
>
+1

Jörg Lorenz

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Dec 7, 2023, 5:53:31 AM12/7/23
to
On 06.12.23 21:21, david wrote:
> Using <news:ukqefp$sbs1$1...@dont-email.me>, Alan wrote:
>
>> ...just what do you think a picture of a smartphone dialing screen proves...
>
> What were your results when you called Google to help complain?

A waste of time and none of your or anybody else's business in this group.

Wally J

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Dec 7, 2023, 10:39:04 AM12/7/23
to
Ralph Fox <-rf-nz-@-.invalid> wrote

>> Together, maybe we can get Google to at least look at the problem we face.
>
> In the past, Google's response to getting many spam complaints for a group
> has been to block the group from being *read* on Google Groups.
> This would mean we will all lose access to DejaGoogle search in this group.

Thanks for that input, because you seem to a rare respondent who understood
the problem set, as most self-centered people think it's only about them.

Just filtering out the spam only helps one person; what I'm seeking (as
always) is a general-purpose solution that improves life for everyone.

That's why I posted this thread - to find people who cared about others.
(Where it's clear that most of the respondents only care about themselves.)

If Google wipes out the dejanews/dejagoogle search engine, that's bad.
Everyone loses if the dejanews/dejagoogle searcb engine is wiped out.

There is great utility in the dejanews archives found nowhere else.
a. Dejagoogle allows easy cites to individual threads & articles
b. Dejagoogle allows anyone to see those cites (no newsreader needed)
c. Dejagoogle allows searches without news server retention, etc.

What you understood is _everyone_ is affected when dejagoogle is.

It would mean that every discussion on this group would be unsearchable.
<http://groups.google.com/g/news.admin.peering>
<http://groups.google.com/g/news.admin.net-abuse.usenet>
<http://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android>

Except by HowardKnight (or narkives) neither of which has the same utility.
<http://news.admin.peering.narkive.com>
<http://news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.narkive.com>
<http://comp.mobile.android.narkive.com>

Note: I realize people who only post for their amusement won't have a need
for a general purpose search engine that the whole world can easily use.

> A couple of examples where this has already happened:
>
> * mozilla.support.seamonkey <https://groups.google.com/g/mozilla.support.seamonkey>
> * misc.test <https://groups.google.com/g/misc.test>
>
>      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ QUOTE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Banned content warning
> mozilla.support.seamonkey has been identified as containing spam,
> malware, or other malicious content.
> For more information about content policies on Google Groups see our
> Help Center article on abuse and our Terms of Service.
> [ Back to safety ]
>      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ QUOTE ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for that example, although when Google took over DejaNews' search
engine, Google was never faithful to any product which competed with it.

An example is that the Windows XP newsgroup was already archived
<http://groups.google.com/g/microsoft.public.windowsxp.general>
But, Google refused to add the newer windows versions after that
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-8.narkive.com>
<http://alt.windows7.general.narkive.com>
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-10.narkive.com>
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-11.narkive.com>
Although, to Google's credit, there is one overarching Windows archive
<http://groups.google.com/g/alt.comp.microsoft.windows>
But, it's full of Google spam too (plus nobody usually posts to it).

I'm still shocked that Google Groups' Usenet portal allows all this obvious
spam, but if they're going to wipe out the dejanews/dejagoogle search
engine, even the self-centered people who will never understand this
problem set (which is 9,999 out of 1,000) will be adversely affected.
--
On Usenet we can discuss problems with people who have more information.

Wally J

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Dec 7, 2023, 11:14:41 AM12/7/23
to
Jörg Lorenz <hugy...@gmx.net> wrote

>> What were your results when you called Google to help complain?
>
> A waste of time and none of your or anybody else's business in this group.

If you've never run a search before posting, then it won't affect you.

But it's everyone's business if they care about the utility of
search-before-posting and if they care to begin their next question at the
stage that others already fleshed it out so as to not repeat mistakes.

*Anyone can filter out spam*

Anyone can easily filter out all spam emanating from Google Groups'
accounts, but that spam isn't the problem that we're trying to solve.

*We're trying to save DejaNews/DejaGoogle web-searchable archives*

For those who care about the population at large, losing the utility
of the DejaNews archives is a big deal as it easily can affect everyone.

Yes. Everyone.
Well, anyone who is thoughtful enough to run a search before posting.

But - unfortunately - losing DejaNews also affects those _outside_ Usenet.

Because it only takes a web browser to run a search on anything.
<http://groups.google.com/g/<putnameofusenetgrouphere>

This helps everyone both inside the Usenet community & outside it.
a. Searchers don't need servers & readers; they only need a web browser
b. Recipients don't either; they click on a link to an article or thread
c. Retention is almost "permanent" (with regard to Dejanews' originals)

Therefore, this spam, if it kills DejaNews, affects everyone if not solved.
The only to solve the Dejanews issue is to get Google to stop the spam.

I saw Ralph Fox' post saying that the way Google solves that is to wipe out
the utility of the DejaNews search engine - so I hope that doesn't happen.
--
There are two kinds of people who post to Usenet, one of which is a class
of self-centered people who post only for their amusement - but the other
is a class of people who are kind hearted and helpful by their very nature.

met...@newjersey.metaed.com

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Dec 7, 2023, 1:15:19 PM12/7/23
to
In news.admin.net-abuse.usenet Wally J <walte...@invalid.nospam> wrote:
> If you know of a better way to complain about this, please let us know.

For projects such as Android that fall under Google Developers, maybe there is:
the Google Bughunters tracking system.

On Google Groups, there's a "public-ntp-discuss" group. It was created for
public discussion and support of the Google Public NTP Project under Google
Developers.

Recently, their group was overrun by spam in the same way as these Usenet
groups, and the group got replaced by a banned content warning. I reported this
as a security vulnerability (vulnerable to DOS attack) at bughunters.google.com
on Monday. I asked that it be brought specifically to the attention of the
Google Public NTP Project. Three days later their group is back online and the
spam is gone.

So it's not unthinkable that a bug report about comp.mobile.android being
vulnerable to DOS attack might also get some traction, if specifically reported
to the attention of the Android project under Google Developers, and if the
Android project team is invested at all in comp.mobile.android.

Cheers! Edward

The Doctor

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Dec 7, 2023, 7:13:22 PM12/7/23
to
In article <uksoui$1oqca$1...@paganini.bofh.team>,
Google Groups has now made the Dejanews Archive worth less than 1 cent US.

>--
>On Usenet we can discuss problems with people who have more information.


Wally J

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Dec 7, 2023, 8:19:26 PM12/7/23
to
The Doctor <doc...@doctor.nl2k.ab.ca> wrote

> Google Groups has now made the Dejanews Archive worth less than 1 cent US.

To that point, it's not yet impossible to find something in Dejanews
web-searchable archives, but, with the spam-to-post ratio being 100:1,
it's certainly a _lot_ harder than it should be to use the search
productively.

Of course, a lot of people never search before posting, so, those are the
people who have already written saying there's no problem for them.

The problem, as you seem to understand, is for everyone who runs a search.

Scott Dorsey

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Dec 7, 2023, 8:33:59 PM12/7/23
to
Wally J <walte...@invalid.nospam> wrote:
>That's why I posted this thread - to find people who cared about others.
>(Where it's clear that most of the respondents only care about themselves.)
>
>If Google wipes out the dejanews/dejagoogle search engine, that's bad.
>Everyone loses if the dejanews/dejagoogle searcb engine is wiped out.

They broke the indices years ago and old posts can no longer be found. They
are in there, but you can't get to them except by message-id.

>There is great utility in the dejanews archives found nowhere else.
>a. Dejagoogle allows easy cites to individual threads & articles
>b. Dejagoogle allows anyone to see those cites (no newsreader needed)
>c. Dejagoogle allows searches without news server retention, etc.

Yes, but it's broken. If it actually worked properly, the way it did
originally, it would be a huge benefit to Usenet as a whole. But mostly
it's not useful anymore.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

Wally J

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Dec 7, 2023, 8:56:06 PM12/7/23
to
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote

>>If Google wipes out the dejanews/dejagoogle search engine, that's bad.
>>Everyone loses if the dejanews/dejagoogle searcb engine is wiped out.
>
> They broke the indices years ago and old posts can no longer be found. They
> are in there, but you can't get to them except by message-id.

Ruefully, I must agree that I can't find even my own articles sometimes,
when I know the keywords used, where, interestingly, sometimes my articles
are in the top of a "normal" Google search but not found in dejagoogle.

There was a WIRED article from a while back which said as much, that the
search engine isn't anywhere near the quality of the main Google Search.

Worse, Google removed the headers (which is probably good for privacy), so
the message-ID is only useful at Howard Knight (as far as I'm still aware).

In summary, it sucks - but it's still better than nothing, especially when
we want to search a newsgroup to see if the topic has been covered already.

An example is searching the alt.usage.english newsgroup before asking about
a word or searching the Android newsgroup before asking about ACR apps.
<http://groups.google.com/g/alt.usage.english>

Then the post we make _after_ that search won't start from the beginning.
It will start where the ball hit the ground & then we can push it forward.
--
(We need a name for what Google Groups' search engine is, as we're looking
at it from the Usenet perspective and not from the Google Groups angle.)

John McCue

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Dec 7, 2023, 9:58:57 PM12/7/23
to
Followups trimmed to news.admin.net-abuse.usenet

In news.admin.net-abuse.usenet The Doctor <doc...@doctor.nl2k.ab.ca> wrote:
<snip>
> Google Groups has now made the Dejanews Archive worth less
> than 1 cent US.

There is this, they are trying to create a useful archive
of usenet:

https://yarchive.net/

--
[t]csh(1) - "An elegant shell, for a more... civilized age."
- Paraphrasing Star Wars

Julieta Shem

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Dec 8, 2023, 10:47:59 PM12/8/23
to
klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:

> Wally J <walte...@invalid.nospam> wrote:
>>That's why I posted this thread - to find people who cared about others.
>>(Where it's clear that most of the respondents only care about themselves.)
>>
>>If Google wipes out the dejanews/dejagoogle search engine, that's bad.
>>Everyone loses if the dejanews/dejagoogle searcb engine is wiped out.
>
> They broke the indices years ago and old posts can no longer be found. They
> are in there, but you can't get to them except by message-id.

That's already something of value, but I don't even know how to do that
anymore. I used to. By seeing how the interface changes from time to
time, I gave up on Google Groups even as an archive. I still think we
need a all-time USENET serious archive. I would like to locate any
message by message-id, no matter in which group it was posted. Is that
a dream?

Wally J

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Dec 9, 2023, 3:37:46 AM12/9/23
to
Julieta Shem <js...@yaxenu.org> wrote

> I would like to locate any message by message-id, no matter in
> which group it was posted. Is that a dream?

You didn't mention whether or not you already know the message id.
If you already know it, what's wrong with the Howard Knight site?
<http://al.howardknight.net/>

If you don't already know the message id, I'm not sure of any lookup that
will give it to you - as I don't use the narkives & I think dejagoogle
stopped archiving the headers a few years ago (as I recall).
<https://news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.narkive.com>
<https://groups.google.com/g/news.admin.net-abuse.usenet>

How are you going to find the message id if you don't already have the
article's headers in your possession (e.g., from your news server)?

Jörg Lorenz

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Dec 9, 2023, 3:51:03 AM12/9/23
to
On 07.12.23 19:15, met...@newjersey.metaed.com wrote:
> On Google Groups, there's a "public-ntp-discuss" group.

Time servers are different ball game.
Probably you mean NNTP.

Julieta Shem

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Dec 10, 2023, 12:29:22 AM12/10/23
to

Trimming the destinataries to news.admin.net-abuse.usenet only.

Wally J <walte...@invalid.nospam> writes:

> Julieta Shem <js...@yaxenu.org> wrote
>
>> I would like to locate any message by message-id, no matter in
>> which group it was posted. Is that a dream?
>
> You didn't mention whether or not you already know the message id.
> If you already know it, what's wrong with the Howard Knight site?
> <http://al.howardknight.net/>

I had never heard of this website. It's asking me for a username and
password, which I don't have. It also presenting a certificate issued
to a different hostname.

> If you don't already know the message id, I'm not sure of any lookup that
> will give it to you - as I don't use the narkives & I think dejagoogle
> stopped archiving the headers a few years ago (as I recall).
> <https://news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.narkive.com>
> <https://groups.google.com/g/news.admin.net-abuse.usenet>

I do know the message-id. I think it's nice if posts and papers could
reference a USENET article by the message-id and with a click of the
mouse people could look it up on the web or gopher, gemini or something.
Having to mention the group (along) seems undesired.

> How are you going to find the message id if you don't already have the
> article's headers in your possession (e.g., from your news server)?

Someone sends me an e-mail saying --- ``see <message-id> for how X can
be accomplished'' --- and some archive-service could display the message
given the <message-if>. The USENET could be what electronic archives
for scientific papers still can't do. (You read a paper, find a
reference and must still manually go to questionably legal services to
try to find a copy.)

Thanks for the pointers.

Wally J

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Dec 10, 2023, 2:33:51 PM12/10/23
to
Brian Gregory <void-invalid...@email.invalid> wrote
> I'm using news.individual.net and I don't see anything from Google
> Groups here.

Hi Brian,
Your admin appears to be working on the problem as shown here.
<https://groups.google.com/g/news.admin.peering/c/AgrNUeZuAkw/m/f9PSZkv4AAAJ>

Here's what he said, verbatim.
My apologies to the Individual.net news server admins.

==< cut here >==
We follow the discussion here and are aware of the Google spam problem. We
also have some anti-spam measures for our reader servers. But it is really
easy to find our contact address (ne...@individual.net) on
https://news.individual.net/

In the past, issuing a UDPš has often not been particularly successful.

Heiko (for Newsmaster-Team of individual.net)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet_Death_Penalty

met...@newjersey.metaed.com

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Dec 11, 2023, 6:44:50 PM12/11/23
to
In news.admin.net-abuse.usenet Joerg Lorenz <hugy...@gmx.net> wrote:
> Probably you mean NNTP.

The point was to share a successful outcome, using Bughunters to report a spam
attack on a Google Group having ties to a Google development team. What worked
for that Group might not work for another, but a person could try it. My
suggestion was that spam overrunning comp.mobile.android could be posted on
Bughunters to the attention of the Android development team. The Android team
might be invested enough and in a position to escalate it internally and get it
fixed, just as the Time team did.

(Nothing to do with NTP and NNTP having similar spelling.)

Cheers! Edward

Wally J

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Dec 12, 2023, 8:38:33 PM12/12/23
to
Scott Dorsey <klu...@panix.com> wrote

>>Then there's the "you gave X number of articles to the free global
>>Usenet out of the Y total articles therein" where X is significantly
>>smaller than Y and as such you get an infinitesimally small part back,
>>if that.
>
> Yes, precisely.

BTW, on the Android newsgroup some of us are discussing WHY they're doing
all this spam, where not every newsgroup is being spammed, it seems.

These are:
<https://groups.google.com/g/alt.internet.wireless>
<https://groups.google.com/g/alt.comp.microsoft.windows>
<https://groups.google.com/g/uk.telecom.mobile>
<https://groups.google.com/g/rec.photo.digital>
<https://groups.google.com/g/alt.home.repair>
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.android>
etc.

These are not:
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-10.narkive.com>
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-11.narkive.com>
<https://groups.google.com/g/comp.mobile.ipad>
<https://groups.google.com/g/misc.phone.mobile.iphone>
etc.

I haven't looked extensively but they don't seem to be spamming groups
(such as the Windows 10 and 11 newsgroups most people post to) which aren't
auto-archived - but that could also be because the Google-to-Usenet portal
might not work for groups that aren't part of the DejaNews archives.

Dunno what they're doing for real, but it's only some newsgroups.
Not all.

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 1:03:27 AM12/13/23
to
On 12/12/23 19:38, Wally J wrote:
> BTW, on the Android newsgroup some of us are discussing WHY they're doing
> all this spam, where not every newsgroup is being spammed, it seems.

I'm of the opinion that it's a bunch of different spam campaigns, likely
by almost as many spammers.

> I haven't looked extensively but they don't seem to be spamming groups
> (such as the Windows 10 and 11 newsgroups most people post to) which aren't
> auto-archived - but that could also be because the Google-to-Usenet portal
> might not work for groups that aren't part of the DejaNews archives.

^DejaNews^Usenet

I know that the newsgroups for Thunderbird / Firefox support and some of
the newer versions of Windows don't have Usenet newsgroups inside of
Google Groups.

In traditional news parlance, Google doesn't carry said newsgroups /
they aren't in Google's active newsgroups file. As such there is
nothing inside of Google Groups that the spammers can post to using the
Google Groups Usenet gateway.

> Dunno what they're doing for real, but it's only some newsgroups.
> Not all.

I don't think I've ever seen a single spam campaign hit all of the
newsgroups that I subscribe to, much less all of the thousands in my
server's active file. All of them are one or few groups and there is no
rime or reason that I'm aware of in their selection of groups.



Grant. . . .

Wally J

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Dec 13, 2023, 1:22:57 AM12/13/23
to
Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote

>> BTW, on the Android newsgroup some of us are discussing WHY they're doing
>> all this spam, where not every newsgroup is being spammed, it seems.
>
> I'm of the opinion that it's a bunch of different spam campaigns, likely
> by almost as many spammers.
>
>> I haven't looked extensively but they don't seem to be spamming groups
>> (such as the Windows 10 and 11 newsgroups most people post to) which aren't
>> auto-archived - but that could also be because the Google-to-Usenet portal
>> might not work for groups that aren't part of the DejaNews archives.
>
> ^DejaNews^Usenet

I wish we had a name for it but it's like when we talk about unwanted spam.
No matter what name we use, everyone knows what we're talking about.

I call it dejagoogle sometimes.
a. It's a search engine to me
b. And it's a cite reference (better'n a message-ID is anyway)

> I know that the newsgroups for Thunderbird / Firefox support and some of
> the newer versions of Windows don't have Usenet newsgroups inside of
> Google Groups.

Yup. I tried valiantly, as did you, I believe, to get Google to add them to
the auto-archives so that others can run searches to find answers before
they post a question. I failed.
<https://groups.google.com/g/alt.comp.software.thunderbird> 404 not found
<https://groups.google.com/g/alt.comp.software.firefox> Content unavailable
NOTE: Interesting I got two different errors for those two URIs just now.

We might check for the Google spam on the narkives though.
<http://alt.comp.software.thunderbird.narkive.com> (unsafe)
<http://alt.comp.software.firefox.narkive.com> (unsafe)
But my browser setup won't let me.

> In traditional news parlance, Google doesn't carry said newsgroups /
> they aren't in Google's active newsgroups file. As such there is
> nothing inside of Google Groups that the spammers can post to using the
> Google Groups Usenet gateway.

Yeah. That must be why the Gspammers aren't spamming these Windows ngs.
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-10.narkive.com>
<http://alt.comp.os.windows-11.narkive.com>

>> Dunno what they're doing for real, but it's only some newsgroups.
>> Not all.
>
> I don't think I've ever seen a single spam campaign hit all of the
> newsgroups that I subscribe to, much less all of the thousands in my
> server's active file. All of them are one or few groups and there is no
> rime or reason that I'm aware of in their selection of groups.

I've noticed a lot of the spam is in funky characters, which I find odd,
but many also have URLs so they could be phishing attacks for all I know.

The M0VIE spam is particularly repetitive - I suspect they want to get into
search engine results - but I don't know that for a fact. I'm just guessing
as a lot of my tutorials posted to Usenet end up in the first page of hits
from a "normal" www.google.com search - so Usenet _does_ show up there too.

BTW, regarding the message from Individual.net, I was heartened they care.
Anybody have any new datapoints from Giganews & Highwinds admins yet?

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 10:18:39 AM12/13/23
to
On 12/13/23 00:22, Wally J wrote:
> I wish we had a name for it but it's like when we talk about unwanted spam.
> No matter what name we use, everyone knows what we're talking about.

There are (at least) three distinct things in the discussion:

1) The copy of Usenet articles that Deja News had which Google acquired.
2) Usenet as it exists today as a set of newsgroups.
3) The groups in the Google Groups system

#1 is a static and has not changed since acquisition.

#2 is what the people outside of Google use.

#3 is what the people inside of Google use.

#2 and #3 are close and related but are not the same thing.

> Yup. I tried valiantly, as did you, I believe, to get Google to add them to
> the auto-archives so that others can run searches to find answers before
> they post a question. I failed.

I got an authoritative refusal to add the newsgroups from the people
that would do it or authorize me to do it.

> NOTE: Interesting I got two different errors for those two URIs just now.

There could be a number of reasons for that and I wouldn't trust Google
1 mm for each bit making up the NOTE: message.

> Yeah. That must be why the Gspammers aren't spamming these Windows ngs.

They aren't because they can't because the group doesn't exist where the
spammers are originating the spam.

> I've noticed a lot of the spam is in funky characters, which I find odd,
> but many also have URLs so they could be phishing attacks for all I know.

The spam is using Unicode, some are quite literally bells and whistles,
to draw attention or to be funny or cute.

> The M0VIE spam is particularly repetitive - I suspect they want to get into
> search engine results - but I don't know that for a fact. I'm just guessing
> as a lot of my tutorials posted to Usenet end up in the first page of hits
> from a "normal" www.google.com search - so Usenet _does_ show up there too.

I don't think that they are trying to get into web search engines.
After all, most of the operations that I saw were quite questionable in
nature. I think they are simply trying to be the most recent "we have
movie" poster so that they appear most recently in the newsgroup when
someone looks for "what's the most recent movie post?". Quite literally
climbing on top of each other and not caring about the trash they leave
behind them.

> BTW, regarding the message from Individual.net, I was heartened they care.
> Anybody have any new datapoints from Giganews & Highwinds admins yet?

IMHO Individual.net is run by an individual, much like most of the text
only Usenet servers. Both GigaNews and HighWinds are commercial
entities and likely don't care unless one of their paying users complains.



--
Grant. . . .

Andrew

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Dec 13, 2023, 10:41:26 AM12/13/23
to
Grant Taylor wrote on Wed, 13 Dec 2023 09:18:37 -0600 :

>> BTW, regarding the message from Individual.net, I was heartened they care.
>> Anybody have any new datapoints from Giganews & Highwinds admins yet?
>
> IMHO Individual.net is run by an individual, much like most of the text
> only Usenet servers. Both GigaNews and HighWinds are commercial
> entities and likely don't care unless one of their paying users complains.

The 'paying customers' of GigaNews & HighWinds seem to be all spammers. ;->

Ray Banana

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Dec 13, 2023, 12:53:03 PM12/13/23
to
Thus spake Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net>

> IMHO Individual.net is run by an individual, much like most of the
> text only Usenet servers.

News.Individual.net is provided by FU (Free University) Berlin, one of three State
Universities in Berlin, Germany. It is run by the IT department (ZEDAT)
of FU University.

HTH

--
Пу́тін — хуйло́
http://www.eternal-september.org

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 1:38:10 PM12/13/23
to
On 12/13/23 09:41, Andrew wrote:
> The 'paying customers' of GigaNews & HighWinds seem to be all spammers. ;->

I question the veracity of that.

I've paid both for service for a short time in the past. Before I stood
up my own news server.

Adam H. Kerman

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Dec 13, 2023, 2:11:56 PM12/13/23
to
Ray Banana <ray...@raybanana.net> wrote:
>Thus spake Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net>

>>IMHO Individual.net is run by an individual, much like most of the
>>text only Usenet servers.

>News.Individual.net is provided by FU (Free University) Berlin, one of three State
>Universities in Berlin, Germany. It is run by the IT department (ZEDAT)
>of FU University.

>HTH

I was a suscriber of the predecessor service, but was unable to make
payment from the United States with through their local payment
processor. They subsequently changed payment processors and it's no
longer a problem as I see plenty of subscribers based in the United
States using their server.

The people who run it really like text Usenet and they've always had an
excellent reputation.

https://news.individual.net/commercial.php

Ken Blake

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Dec 13, 2023, 2:29:42 PM12/13/23
to
On Wed, 13 Dec 2023 18:51:48 +0100, Ray Banana <ray...@raybanana.net>
wrote:

>> IMHO Individual.net is run by an individual, much like most of the
>> text only Usenet servers.
>
> News.Individual.net is provided by FU (Free University) Berlin, one of three State
> Universities in Berlin, Germany. It is run by the IT department (ZEDAT)
> of FU University.

Does that university offer free accounts or only at cost Usenet accounts?

Ken Blake

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Dec 13, 2023, 2:36:46 PM12/13/23
to
On Wed, 13 Dec 2023 12:29:37 -0700, Ken Blake <K...@invalid.news.com> wrote:

> Does that university offer free accounts or only at cost Usenet accounts?

Nevermind. https://news.individual.net/commercial.php
Saw that in the post from Adam Kerman (is kerman a generic anon moniker?)

Adam H. Kerman

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Dec 13, 2023, 2:54:31 PM12/13/23
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Yes Ken. Nobody knows who the hell I am.

Marco Moock

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Dec 13, 2023, 3:04:58 PM12/13/23
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News.Individual.net costs money for external people.

Scott Dorsey

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Dec 13, 2023, 4:54:28 PM12/13/23
to
In article <ulbhfc$sbm$1...@tncsrv09.home.tnetconsulting.net>,
Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote:
>On 12/12/23 19:38, Wally J wrote:
>> BTW, on the Android newsgroup some of us are discussing WHY they're doing
>> all this spam, where not every newsgroup is being spammed, it seems.
>
>I'm of the opinion that it's a bunch of different spam campaigns, likely
>by almost as many spammers.

If this is the case, and it's possible, first thing is that they are using
the same script to do it. And secondly, they all are dumping stuff with
the intention of being disruptive rather than the intention of gimmicking
search engines. I suspect initially they were trying to get search engine
results up, but at this point they are just intending to be destructive.

This is why I suspect it's more likely to be one spammer, but I am not
positive.

Scott Dorsey

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Dec 13, 2023, 4:57:13 PM12/13/23
to
Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote:
>There are (at least) three distinct things in the discussion:
>
>1) The copy of Usenet articles that Deja News had which Google acquired.
>2) Usenet as it exists today as a set of newsgroups.
>3) The groups in the Google Groups system
>
>#1 is a static and has not changed since acquisition.

This is not true. It has degraded since acquisition which is where the
resentment of older Usenet users comes from.

>#2 is what the people outside of Google use.

Yes.

>#3 is what the people inside of Google use.

Yes.

>#2 and #3 are close and related but are not the same thing.

They are quite remarkably different, especially in that #3 is far more full
of spam than #2.

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 6:57:15 PM12/13/23
to
On 12/13/23 15:57, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> This is not true. It has degraded since acquisition which is where the
> resentment of older Usenet users comes from.

I maintain that the corpus of articles that Google acquired from Deja
News has not changed since the acquisition.

Yes, the interface thereto has gotten worse and yes more has been added
to the newsgroups.

But the articles as they existed in late 2000 still exist and have not
changed.

> They are quite remarkably different, especially in that #3 is far more full
> of spam than #2.

Google is spewing the spam out to the world.

It is by the grace of server administrators retroactively cleaning up
Google's mess that you aren't seeing nearly as much.

But if the outside news admins don't clean things up / block Google
Groups, you will see very close to the same thing as inside of Google.

I'll say it this way: An unfiltered news feed outside of Google will
show very similar things as a news feed inside of Google.

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 7:01:03 PM12/13/23
to
On 12/13/23 15:54, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> If this is the case, and it's possible, first thing is that they are using
> the same script to do it.

I suspect that some ... creative miscreants have produced code /
programs to spam Google Groups and distributed it -- likely for profit
-- to even lower miscreants who are spewing massive amounts of spam.

Before I started filtering I was seeing very similarly formatted things
in multiple languages advertising very different things.

I suspect it's a common tool and possibly common template therein that
causes many of the similarities.

> And secondly, they all are dumping stuff with the intention of being
> disruptive rather than the intention of gimmicking search engines.

I'm not convinced of that.

> I suspect initially they were trying to get search engine results up,
> but at this point they are just intending to be destructive.

I don't think that it ever did much for a /web/ search engine. Maybe it
did something for a /Usenet/ search engine. But I'm defaulting to /web/
as that's what 90% of people will think of when you ask them what a
search engine searches. ;-)

> This is why I suspect it's more likely to be one spammer, but I am not
> positive.

Let's agree to disagree. :-D

Scott Dorsey

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Dec 13, 2023, 7:06:48 PM12/13/23
to
Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote:
>On 12/13/23 15:57, Scott Dorsey wrote:
>> This is not true. It has degraded since acquisition which is where the
>> resentment of older Usenet users comes from.
>
>I maintain that the corpus of articles that Google acquired from Deja
>News has not changed since the acquisition.
>
>Yes, the interface thereto has gotten worse and yes more has been added
>to the newsgroups.
>
>But the articles as they existed in late 2000 still exist and have not
>changed.

This is possible, but we can't really know with the indices having been
broken so badly. There are messages that I know were in the database
in 2000 which I have copies of, but which I cannot find on google with any
search. They might be there but I have to assume they aren't.

>I'll say it this way: An unfiltered news feed outside of Google will
>show very similar things as a news feed inside of Google.

Unfortunately true, which is why everyone uses some degree of filtering.

Scott Dorsey

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Dec 13, 2023, 7:07:48 PM12/13/23
to
Let's send a legal disclosure request to Google for user information.

Wally J

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Dec 13, 2023, 8:42:02 PM12/13/23
to
Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote

>> I suspect initially they were trying to get search engine results up,
>> but at this point they are just intending to be destructive.
>
> I don't think that it ever did much for a /web/ search engine. Maybe it
> did something for a /Usenet/ search engine. But I'm defaulting to /web/
> as that's what 90% of people will think of when you ask them what a
> search engine searches. ;-)


We know the difference between what http://groups.google.com/g/<nameofng>
searches versus what http://google.com searches where the groups.google.com
search is _only_ inside that singular newsgroup...

But...

I'll just make a point that when I search on the normal google.com search
engine, I sometimes find my own tutorials showing up, especially when the
topic is esoteric...

Which means...

Usenet results can spill into the regular google.com search engine output;
but (to my knowledge), web sites outside of Usenet/GoogleGroups do NOT
spill into the DejaGoogle search engine results.

If the spam wasn't there, DejaGoogle is rather useful for two purposes:
a. Looking things up BEFORE you post to a newsgroup, and,
b. Referencing an article by URI instead of by Message-ID

The beauty is that no newsreader is needed - and no account is needed.
And article retention is, for our purposes, forever (so to speak).
--
Usenet is a way to express what you think is the situation only to find
others who know it better than you do who correct your prior assessment.

Julieta Shem

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Dec 13, 2023, 10:15:27 PM12/13/23
to
klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) writes:

> Grant Taylor <gta...@tnetconsulting.net> wrote:
>>On 12/13/23 15:54, Scott Dorsey wrote:
>>
>>> This is why I suspect it's more likely to be one spammer, but I am not
>>> positive.
>>
>>Let's agree to disagree. :-D
>
> Let's send a legal disclosure request to Google for user information.

That's an interesting idea.

Grant Taylor

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Dec 13, 2023, 10:43:17 PM12/13/23