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Automated Retroactive Minimal Moderation
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messaging (ARMM) A Usenet robot created by Dick Depew of
Munroe Falls, Ohio. ARMM was intended to automatically cancel
posts from anonymous-posting sites. Unfortunately, the
robot's recogniser for anonymous postings triggered on its own
automatically-generated control messages! Transformed by this
stroke of programming ineptitude into a monster of
Frankensteinian proportions, it broke loose on the night of
1993-03-31 and proceeded to spam news:news.admin.policy
with a recursive explosion of over 200 messages.
Reactions varied from amusement to outrage. The pathological
messages crashed at least one mail system, and upset people
paying line charges for their Usenet feeds. One poster
described the ARMM debacle as "instant Usenet history" (also
establishing the term despew), and it has since been widely
cited as a cautionary example of the havoc the combination of
good intentions and incompetence can wreak on a network.