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Serdar Argic

Serdar Argic was the name or alias used by a person responsible for one of the first major spamming incidents on Usenet.

The lawyers Canter & Siegel[?] are usually cited as the first major newsgroup spammers, but in the months before their "green card" spam, Argic spammed the newsgroups with Turkish propaganda.

The identity of the person behind Serdar Argic was never revealed, though it is believed to be a person who had attempted to engage in historical revisionism during discussions of the history of the Armenian Genocide. For a period of about two months in the first half of 1994, the Internet user "Sergar Argic" posted messages in any newsgroup conversation involving the country of Turkey. Furthermore, every time the word "turkey" was posted on any newsgroup, Serdar Argic soon posted a reply in the same thread, in which he (or she) argued that the Armenian Genocide had not occurred -- or that Armenians had committed genocide upon Turks.

Argic's postings soon numbered in the tens of thousands. Because of the posts' repetitiousness, most observers concluded that they were being automatically posted by a software program. This program, or "bot", would scan through the entire news spool for any new appearances of the word "turkey". The bot would then automatically post a reply with a political statement about the Armenians -- even if the original message had simply referred to Thanksgiving turkey.

Internet users sent a barrage of complaints to UUnet[?], the Internet service provider hosting the account of Serdar Argic. UUnet never replied to any of the complaints -- a fault that would be greatly magnified when spamming became an increasingly common problem on the Internet in the years to follow. The Serdar Argic account suddenly disappeared in mid-1994 with neither warning nor explanation.

Serdar Argic's messages are generally considered to be a poor attempt at historical revisionism.



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