Being a news administrator would be so much easier…

…if it wasn’t for the damn users.

There is a guy who emails a complaint about anything remotely spammy that has any connection to NCF – either posted through NCF, or mentioning an NCF email address, or whatever. Half the time his complaints are pretty trivial – one of my lusers followed up to an off-topic post without putting it back on topic or something. But the other half of the time, he’s the only warning I have that one of my lusers is doing something wrong.

Today I got a spam complaint from him – somebody posted an ad for his “online pizza ordering” service to Yeah, I saw it before he sent me the complaint. Sure it’s off-topic, but frankly if you got rid of all the off-topic posts in it would have only had two posts in the couple of years since it was created. So I didn’t pay any attention.

And then a few hours later, he sent me a bunch more complaints – the same guy was evidently spamming every newsgroup in Ottawa. So I do a search through the news spool:

find ../spool/overview/ -type f -print |xargs grep <idiots email> | sed -e 's?^../spool/overview?/usr/lib/news/spool/articles?' -e 's?.overview:??' -e 's/[ \t].*//' > list

And sure enough there are 29 of his spams, all in ott.* newsgroups.

Time to get tough. And I just happened to have a copy of Dick Depew’s infamous ARMM bot which Dick himself send me about a year after the infamous ARMM debacle (where a bug in ARMM caused it to issue cancels for its own cancels, in an ever increasing cascade). I dusted it off, fixed the paths in it, and turned it lose. It generated the 29 cancels in no time.

And just to make sure it doesn’t happen again, I fixed bin/filter/ to reject any connection attempts from this guy. Of course all that means is that he’ll start spamming from Google, but at least then it’s not my problem.