Anti-Evolutionists Use Google Groups to Annoy Thousands

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On Friday evening, starting around 11:44 pm PST, thousands of people started receiving a flood of google groups messages.

The group, mtc-training-center is listed at google groups as an arabic language group with 14439 members – one of my addresses included.

The initial message was an Anti-Evolution message, supposedly sent by a christian “If you accuse me of “lying, hypocrisy, etc., I’m not affected with your accusations. The Lord knows my intentions”.

And this: “The Solar System is NOT billions of years old. In fact, the Sun is most probably less than 7,000 years old”.

All I can say is – Amazing logic!

The spam email situation was exacerbated by a number of things:

  1. People responding to the initial message – this sent their response to the whole list
  2. Out of Office autoresponders – they responded to the initial message and to some of the manual responses
  3. Autoresponders such as the one at Nebraska Wesleyan, which responded to every message it received by sending a message to the whole list to tell us they would respond as soon as possible.

According to google groups, the top poster to that group is Nebraska Wesleyan college, showing 36 posts so far. By the morning it should be a lot more!

The list was started in May and only three messages were sent. Then today, the numbers jumped and we’re seeing the results of that now. In any case, most of the people on the list aren’t interested – they just want to stop the messages flooding their inbox.

The simple solution – which people who don’t understand lists wouldn’t know – is to send an unsubscribe message to the list and the mess will stop. In this case, the unsubscribe asddress is [email protected]

Or you can go to http://googlegroups.com/group/mtc-training-center/subscribe and click the Unsubscribe button.

I sent a message to the list explaining how to unsubscribe and a few people obviously read that and took action because the member count is slowly reducing. Next, I sent a message to the list owner, but they might be the ones who started this mess. I CC’d the message to google abuse, so I hope they will take action to shut it down soon.

The flood of mail in my inbox is now slowing down, but 14,000 people will probably wake up on Saturday morning with a big mess in their inbox.

A few seconds ago, it all stopped – someone at Google is on the ball – the group has been deleted

If this happens to you – and it probably will at some time, all you need to do is go to the end of the original post and you’ll see the unsubscribe link. All messages from Google groups, Yahoo groups and all other legitimate groups have the link right at the end of the post. Be careful, though, because hackers could make links that look like unsubscribe links, that redirect you instead to a malicious website.

The internet sure is fun!

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.