Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers

Bill Davidsen davidsen at tmr.com
Tue Jul 6 15:15:32 UTC 2010

Bruno Wolff III wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 06, 2010 at 09:47:52 +0300,
>   Felipe Contreras <felipe.contreras at gmail.com> wrote:
>> No, the spam filter will be *in addition* to whatever is there
>> already. If the list remains subscription-only, there's still spam
>> that goes through, the spam filter will help. And if the lists is
>> moderated, the spam filter would help go through the moderation queue.
> In the current world, you get significantly less spam by restricting posts
> to subscribers. Unless your list is big enough to be worth the trouble
> of spammers to subscribe. In the future this might be different, but for
> now requiring subscription is a legitimate antispam technique.
>> Again, that's speculation. Most of the mailing lists I'm subscribed
>> to, allow non-subscribers to post, and there are as many occasional
>> posters who don't have a clue there, than here. So again, I don't
>> think it's sensible to apply prejudices based on the people's
>> subscription, which is very simple to do.
> That probably has more to do with the kinds of lists you use rather than
> being a general principle.
>>> Not on all lists. Moderators often lack the time. I speak as one such,
>>> and some posts simply don't make it because they have waited too long
>>> for attention. It is not scalable. If the list is very active, the
>>> problem gets far worse.
>> Again, other lists manage just fine. Speculation.
> Are you volunteering to do the work to make that happen?

Having run mailing lists and ISP size (6M users) news servers, I can suggest 
that the practice of hand moderation of non-subscribers and new subscribers 
results in a manageable read load. And auto-passing a reply to a previous post 
where the reply doesn't have top posting can reduce it farther.

Just a thought.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at tmr.com>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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