In an attempt to protect Netizens who post messages to newsgroups, Deja News, the popular service that catalogues and categorizes the bulletin boards, will offer free email.
Deja News already filters the Usenet newsgroups for duplicate messages posted to several newsgroups at once. Now it hopes to use the free email provided by WhoWhere to help protect users from receiving email spam--duplicate messages sent to multiple email addresses.
Many junk emailers get the email addresses they use in their mailings from newsgroups. There are several programs that scan the newsgroups automatically for email addresses. Spam-aware Netizens often will put phony email addresses in their message headers to prevent the programs from picking up their real email addresses.
But Deja News is hoping that users will now use a Deja News address to post to newsgroups. In turn, WhoWhere will filter the email to try to eliminate spam. Many email companies and Internet service providers also filter for spam.
"We're giving them an account that's going to get filtered for spam and it protects their permanent email from being harvested off of Usenet and then spammed," said Claire Campbell, a spokeswoman for Deja News.
Many companies, including sites aiming to become a gateway onto the Internet such as Yahoo and Excite, now offer free email as a way to entice people to their sites on a regular basis and also to extend their brand names on the Net.
But Deja News' service, coupled with its popular Usenet service, could provide an entire solution, Campbell said.
"We want people to have an enjoyable and effective experience on our site," she said. "It's not enjoyable if they go post a message and their email gets harvested and they get a bunch of spam. We're trying to do everything we can to make our site as usable and attractive a destination as possible. It just makes sense. Once we filtered [newsgroup] spam out of the database we wanted to do the entire loop."