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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 11th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 56 > Articles > Spam: More Than Just Meat

Spam: More Than Just Meat

by starhamster42

NEOCHAT - When you hear the word "spam," what is the first thing you think of? The infamous blue-labeled can? The true meaning behind the acronym: Stuff Posing As Meat?

The real question is, did anyone here think of chatboards? No? *sighs* I didn't think so. What does spam have to do with chatboards? Read on and you'll find out.

The History of Spam

What is spam? The term apparently originated from a restaurant featured in a skit on a very famous British television show where every item on the menu contains the infamous canned meat by the same name. To make matters more complicated, a table of Vikings keep singing the word "spam" over and over so loudly that the customers around them cannot get a word in edgewise to order something on the menu (preferably without spam).

The word "spam" is now defined as flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in the hopes of forcing it on those who would otherwise choose not to read it - just as the Vikings did in the restaurant, distracting the other patrons. Spammers are people who spam. Still confused? I'll put it a different way.

You may have heard of "spam mail" cluttering up someone's e-mail inbox in just the same way that all those useless junk mail flyers for new credit cards, this month's newest brand of smelly cat food, and weasel wrangling services fill up your mailbox when you go off on a trip for a week.

It is a known fact that most people who get these kind of flyers in their mail rarely, if ever, look at them before immediately walking over to the nearest trashcan - erm, recycling bin - to throw them away; if it's winter, the spam mail will be shoveled into the fireplace in great loads to feed the fire and keep the house warm.

Okay, okay, I was just kidding about that last part - not necessarily that you would, but you could, because that's how much spam is out there.

Have we got this sorted out? Good! If not, go back and reread this section, and all should soon become clear.

Chatboard Spam and What YOU Can Do About It

But what, I'm sure you're asking, does spam have to do with chatboards? Well, to put it bluntly, everything.

Chatboard spam is classified into many different groups, but it is basically any sort of message that does not belong on the particular board it is posted on. Still confused? Why don't you go take a good look at the chatboards.

First, note the message at the top of many boards; in a nutshell, it amounts to "Thou shalt NOT post on this board if thy message be not relevant to the subject."

That sounds pretty imposing… no spam here, right? Wrong - scroll down the page and take an actual look at the messages. Chances are good - VERY good, in fact - that most, if not all, of the messages at any given time really have nothing to do with the game at all.

For those of you who don't have access to the chatboards, I'll pick out a few random messages for your pleasure:

  • I need "Train Koi" fast!!!
  • REWARD for 1st to tell when and where William Chiapot died!!!
  • Come to my shop! HUGE SALE!!! Everything only 100 NP !!!
  • Plz vote for my hand drawn baby usul! Only need 72 more votes!!

However, this problem is not just restricted to one or two chatboards; almost every board you look at has the same spam.

The spam on these chatboards can sometimes become so thick that it shoves relevant posts off the screen faster than the eye can see, making casual chat nearly impossible.

Unlike e-mail spam, these spam messages cannot be deleted; you must simply put up with them until they either run off the edge of the board or are deleted by a member of the Neopets team with the proper authority to do so (known as a monitor).

The worst part of this problem is that the spam could easily be avoided - all of the messages I listed in the section above all have their own appropriate boards to post on, whether it be Help, Quests, General Chat, Beauty Contest, or Shop/Trading Post Ads.

This spam problem cannot be solved on its own; I've found that most of the time, the spammers who post these kind of messages are simply confused or don't know any better - such as Quest ads being posted on the NeoQuest board because of the name. The only way the spam levels on the chatboards can be reduced is through action.

So if you do see a spam post on the wrong board, Neomail the spammer and kindly remind them that they have posted on the wrong board and politely redirect them to the correct chatroom.

There's nothing wrong with advertising your shop or asking for votes in the Beauty Contest, but please, keep your messages to the boards designated for that kind of thing. Otherwise you're not only cluttering up the wrong boards with messages people will ignore, but also making conversation difficult for others - which *is* what chatboards are for. Always remember: spam is more than just meat.

This is starhamster42, signing off. Happy chatting!

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