E-mail filtering - "PC gone mad"!

  VoG II 13:32 13 Oct 04
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I have not laughed so much in ages!

  ventanas 13:53 13 Oct 04

Not much chance for Widow Twankey then. :-))

  Sethhaniel 14:33 13 Oct 04

but the 'stars' they get to play them that frightens me ;)

  end 14:35 13 Oct 04

reminds me of my Professional site, the e mail address of which seems to be being treated as spam; trying to convince the computer system that it is legitimate is proving to be a nitemare;
but, today"s "political correctness" is encroaching on all aspects of life, as in this thread;

sad really..very sad:O(

  JonnyTub 14:37 13 Oct 04

lol, perhaps an opportunity for some entrepreneur to create contextual spam filtering based on common known phrases or names???

  watchful 15:16 13 Oct 04

Perhaps she should send out fresh e-mails entitled: 'Richard Whittington esq.'

What sad times we live in indeed!

  Forum Editor 19:06 13 Oct 04

We all have our own sense of humour, and I can understand this provoking a wry smile, but as for "I have not laughed so much in ages!" I'm sorry, but I don't share that view.

If this word (which is one of the most common in sexual-content spam) had been excluded from the schools' email filters and some of the more offensive stuff had landed in the kiddie's inbox I can just imagine the outraged reaction we would have seen in this very forum. Teachers must often feel that they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't.

Either you're going to have a spam filter or you're not, and if I was responsible for making a keyword list for a school filter this word would be right up in the top ten. This has nothing to do with political correctness, it's about protecting schoolchildren from pornographic spam. As for living in sad times, well that's a matter of opinion. To my mind the sadness is that there are people out there who think it's OK to deluge the planet with billions of pornographic emails, regardless of the age or sex of the recipients.

  spikeychris 20:43 13 Oct 04

The piece ends with "What a sad comment on the times we live in." Well I don't agree the program has done its job.

  spikeychris 20:44 13 Oct 04

Thats - "Well I don't agree, (comma) the program has done its job. As in it didn't fail what it was told to do.

  VoG II 21:39 13 Oct 04

Forum Editor - I found it funny but perhaps that is down to my warped sense of humour. I have nothing against schools trying to protect pupils from inappropriate material, of course. I simply found it funny that the software to do this had blocked an innocent e-mail.

spikeychris - yes the software did what the programmer told it to. If the program had included a second check along the lines of "if the next word is whittington then ignore" it would have worked better. Obviously that is simplistic but there needs to be some sort of contextual check, not just looking for specific words.

Perhaps the solution is simply to ban pantomimes, and I wouldn't argue with that.

  Forum Editor 22:36 13 Oct 04

would sit well with me too,they rank with circuses in my list of all-time turn-offs.

You're right about contextual filtering, it's a better option, but spammers will beat it. The problem with filtering is that to be really effective it has to be a bit of a blunt instrument. We have a powerful filter on the IDG central mail server in Chicago. All my mail from forum members comes via this server, and often I find that when I look at the (always long) list of stuff that the filter is holding for me there are several mails from forum members. The filter has stopped them because of their alpha-numeric addresses - particularly if they come from the Hotmail server.

As for a warped sense of humour - I'm often accused of having one myself, so you're in good company.

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