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How to delete message from usenet newsgroup?

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closed as off topic by studiohack Jun 13 '11 at 0:22

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

Once it is on the internet, it is on the internet.

See how can I delete old usenet posts? and Cancel A Message Posting

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If a message is recently posted, and your news server allows it, you could "cancel" it - however, not all news readers and/or servers allow this, making it a pretty tricky operation.

For example, in Forte Agent you can cancel a message (which is under your name) by going to Action/Rescind Usenet Post.

The problem with this is that news servers are interconnected, so even if you manage to get your message deleted from your server, it doesn't mean that it will be deleted from all others, if they downloaded it already (and then there's google groups, and similar "web interfaces").

As Posipiet already said, what goes on the net, stays on the net (scary really).

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It is possible for somebody to delete somebody else's message. I've seen a troll do it once.

It seems one can include headers, along the lines of Cancel-Lock or Cancel-Key , to prevent others from cancelling your posts. I've seen the same trolls do it probably to prevent their posts being cancelled.

Here is some info on it.. Cancel-Locks in Usenet articles. "1. Introduction: The Cancel-Key & Cancel-Lock headers

These two headers MAY be used by posters, posting agents, moderators and injecting agents in order to mark articles they process and to verify canceling, superseding and replacing articles that may subsequently be issued for those originals. They MUST NOT be altered or created by any other agents.

The scheme works by including a "Cancel-Lock: " header and contents in an article. Further articles that wish to cancel, supersede or replace this article can include a "Cancel-Key: " header which contains a code-string that when hashed yields one of the code-strings in the "Cancel-Lock: " header of the original article.

These headers are intended to be used as a simple method to verify that the author of an article which removes another one is either the poster, posting agent, moderator or injecting agent that processed the original article when it was in its proto-article form."

-- As an example of the problem.. This is a very liberal usenet provider, which many usenet trolls use. They allow irrlevant cross-posting and allow users to be a nuisance on a newsgroup.. but they draw a line on a few things e.g. "DataBasix propagates but does not honor cancels. DataBasix users may not cancel posts made by another with the exception of posts forged in user’s valid address."

(as far as they are concerned.. people can always killfile a user.. and like many liberal usenet providers, they don't allow the troll to morph- eg change name, to avoid a killfile).. So they're not malicious usenet providers exactly.. Altopia is another one like databasix. And if a troll is reported to have violated their TOS, they are meant to be dealt with..

But yes, it is possible to deletee your posts and even somebody else's posts!

And they go from google's archive too. It may have a limit like 3 months or something..

On a related note, the other way posts can disappear is with a header in the post that the post should only last a certain number of days, then disappear. Some people do that. I think that'd be the "X-no-archive: Yes" header, which can be a nuisance to anybody reading in the google archive - since that one honors that header.

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