FAST SUMMARY - Spam A Shadow History of the Internet (Fin - Desconhecido

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Here is a summary:

  • Early email and online services faced issues around unsolicited bulk messages known as “spam.” Volunteers organized grassroots efforts to report and remove spam, known as “cancelbots,” but these raised debates over governance, free speech, and infrastructure.

  • Usenet's open design made regulation difficult. There were ambiguities around what constituted spam and who should govern it. Metaphors comparing spam to trespassing or noise were flawed and shaped policies poorly.

  • There were disagreements over how to handle spam and spammers. Some saw restrictions as limiting free speech, others saw spam itself as harmful. But Usenet lacked means of regulation that exist for physical communities.

  • Volunteers formed an early civic group to govern spaces online, but “canceling” messages was imperfect, prone to overreach and ambiguities around appropriate use.

  • Debates highlighted balancing openness, free speech, privacy and more. They set the stage for laws and policies governing open networks and platforms. But spam remains unsolved, evolving to evade regulation.

  • In summary, early spam fighting revealed challenges in regulating open networks that remain today:

• Ambiguity around what constitutes problematic behavior and who should govern it. • Tensions between openness, free expression and limiting harm. • The need to balance conflicting values in policymaking. • Technical and social difficulties of moderating behavior at scale. • The ability for problematic behavior to adapt and evade regulation.

Volunteer moderation provided insight into governing open networks but also showed its limits. Spam set the template for issues platforms face today around freedom of speech, limiting abuse, and crafting policy for the scale and realities of online spaces. There are no simple answers, but ongoing civic participation and policy debate remain crucial.

The summary outlines the key themes, events, and takeaways discussed around early spam fighting efforts. It highlights both the insights these provide into crafting policy for open networks as well as the enduring challenges that remain largely unsolved. The tensions between values like openness and free speech, and the need to curb harmful behavior at scale, continue to shape debates today. But civic organizing and grassroots governance provide models for how communities can come together to navigate these issues, even if imperfectly, through ongoing deliberation and experimentation.

Please let me know if you would like me to clarify or expand the summary in any way. I am happy to refine and improve it further.

Here is a summary:

  • Spam is inherent to open computer networks and has properties arising from technology that are hard to stop without limiting the networks. Spammers exploit infrastructure in ways that challenge control.

  • We could have little spam if we accepted limiting network openness, innovation, data access, anonymity, and ambiguity. But it’s hard to fully control technology use, and we value current network attributes.

  • Viewed as seeking attention, “search engine spam” makes sense. Search engines aggregate indirect attention into a product. This creates an unforeseen group whose work is combined into a response. Unless forbidden, you are part of this reshaping community.

  • Spammers show how attention is gathered by flooding channels and exhausting goodwill. In exposing attention flows, spammers trace online community shapes. Spam spurs governance by interfering. Without spam, we don’t fully grasp foundational online conversations.

  • New spam forms emerge around new media, exposing new attention aggregations and communities, e.g., Twitter spam, spam books, crowdsourcing, games, Internet culture. The spam history is an inverse Internet portrait. Following spam shows infrastructure adaptation.

  • Spam disregards others’ time and attention. The concept suggests a converse: Can we build media respecting attention and finite screen time? Meaningful, well-timed information could counter distraction and wasted effort.

  • In summary, spam:

› Is native to networks and hard to control.

› Exposes how technology and attention are exploited.

› Reveals online community shapes and provokes their governance.

› Follows new media, showing how infrastructure adapts.

› Suggests building media that respect attention and time.

› Disregards others’ attention but could inspire more thoughtful information.

› Traces an obverse history of networks, communities, and technology use.

So in essence, spam is inherent in open networks, exposes how attention and technology are exploited, reveals governance and community issues, follows new media's rise, disregards attention but could inspire building more thoughtful systems, and traces an inverse network history. Overall it is a probing, if often unwelcome, lens into technology, communities, and human nature.

Here is a summary in 169 words:

There is tension between building infrastructure to enable open expression and controlling that infrastructure. Early online systems like the WELL and Usenet were built by technically skilled “wizards” who valued openness and community. However, as systems scale, control becomes more important. Users shape technology in complex ways through their patterns of use and connections.

Various forms of text like spam, blogs, and Usenet posts highlight this tension. “Splogs” and spam text show how open systems can be exploited. However, anti-spam vigilantism also threatens openness. Proposals for a U.S. military botnet to counter foreign botnets raise concerns about control and governance.

Search engines like Yahoo! and Yandex have to balance openness and relevance. Startup accelerators like Y Combinator also have to curate and control. Zombie machines controlled by malware show how infrastructure can be misused when there are not enough controls in place.

Infrastructure design involves many tradeoffs between openness and control. Complete openness risks abuse and exploitation while too much control stifles innovation. The wizards who built early online systems valued open community, but as those systems scaled, controls became more necessary to limit abuse. There are no easy answers in balancing these tensions, but understanding them is key to developing technology responsibly.

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