Absolute Beginner's Frequently Asked Questions

2. What is the Breidbart Index?

A method of calculating spam which ignores content and calculates purely on the basis of how many times the article has been posted.

It is calculated by summing the square roots of the numbers of groups in which each "substantively identical" message has been posted. Therefore if a substantively identical message is posted once in each of 20 groups, the BI=20. If it is posted once and crossposted to 25 groups, it has BI=5. If it is posted 5 times, each time being crossposted to 25 groups, then it has a BI of 5+5+5+5+5=25.

The current level for issuing a spam cancel is BI>=20 in 45 days. In practise, most spam being cancelled usually has a BI of thousands.

A word of caution. The post does not have to be made to different groups - each posting of the same "substantively identical" message to one group will count the same as to different groups. That means that if you are in the habit of posting the same message regularly to a newsgroup - say a pointer to the group's FAQ - then be careful that you do not post it 20 times within 45 days or it will be classed as spam.

The BI is named after its creator, Seth Breidbart.


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