This article is from the the official alt.spleen FAQ, by Andrew Stellman with numerous contributions by others.
Andrew says: NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY MAIL TO ME REQUESTING MEDICAL ADVICE! I AM NOT A DOCTOR, AND WILL NOT GIVE YOU ANY USEFUL INFORMATION.
alt.spleen has always been a relatively low-traffic newsgroup. It used to be that every year a new wave of freshmen "discovered" it, and it got a lot of activity for a few days from a single source, and they always said to themselves, "we should just claim this as our own, since we're the only ones who post here", and as quick as it started, it was over. In retrospect, it's clear that this was just a momentary infatuation with spleens -- as is common with newcomers to the Internet -- but they soon realized that the spleen is just too complex and issue-laden for all but the most splendid and spleen-hearty individuals. This is what sets alt.spleen regulars apart from mere mortals.
Recently, this hasn't been as apparent. College freshmen are usually familiar with the Internet by the time they enter, usually because they have accounts in high school. Another relatively recent (i.e. in the last year or so) occurrence has been a constant "background noise" of spam posts for sex sites, psychic hotlines and get-rich-quick schemes. Oh well, there goes the neighborhood.