idea: thread-scoring routine

May 21, 2008

I have this idea, maybe someone has already implemented it.

I setup a database of email addresses with a score based on my experience of the value of the content of their emails. Not a spam score, a content score. So I can say that typically posts worthless crap. Then I score them negatively in my db/table of users. Then something reads in my mailbox and adds a score to the subject line of threads based on the scores assigned to the users involved.

Then I can see if a thread goes up or down content-wise based on who posts to it.

I’m pretty sure I can do this with procmail but I’m curious if it has already been done.

3 Responses to “idea: thread-scoring routine”

  1. I haven’t seen that before.. (well slrn or something would allow you to score a particular user) it would be an interesting item to add into say a bayesian or similar so that people who post in similar ways as the list trolls could be scored lower too :).

  2. I know you will be shocked to hear people have used Gnus in Emacs to read mail and score threads based on commenters.

  3. James Says:

    I do that with mutt — not just on author, but on keywords in the subject. I found it helped a lot with Fedora lists — threads about “nvidia” could be pushed to the bottom of the list, whereas “selinux” or “x86.64” were more visible.

    I don’t put scores in the subject: Mutt calculates its own score as it reads a mailbox (so the scores reflect the setup when you open Mutt, not when you receive the e-mail). More complicated filtering can be done in postfix and added into X-Label: headers.

    I also use Mutt scoring to implement a simple “decaying” kill-file: one press of “z” puts the author in the current killfile. Occasionally, I rotate killfiles — addresses in recent killfiles get killed completely; those in older ones get marked down by lesser amounts. If an address turns up in two killfiles, it’s permanently blocked.

    It helps that I also use mutt as a newsreader (

    It looks like claws-mail supports something similar.

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