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Re: META: Can we please restrict the list?

> On Fri, 3 Apr 1998, Aaron Howell wrote: > > On Fri, Apr 03, 1998 at 07:00:20PM +1000, Hamish Moffatt wrote:
> > > On Thu, Apr 02, 1998 at 05:52:10PM -0500, Shaleh wrote:
> > > How far do you want to take this? We could say that all we ever see
> > > from person x is trash, so they don't belong here either. Bad idea.
> > and as for the free email services, just ban the lot of them.
> > Since one needs to have real net access to upload a package, one has
> > no need for the ability to post from the free (hotmail, juno and friends, 
> > services).
> This list is not just for developers - it is for people interested in the
> development effort. [...] 
> I strongly feel that you should never disallow people in that manner.

The suggestion to block subscriptions from the free email services,
which I agree with, does not disallow a PERSON.  It disallows only
a access method.  This action would only exclude those people who have
no way to read email except through such services -- typically people
accessing the net through public browsers in libraries, a computer
at work (but not at home), etc.  Meaningful contributions to this
discussion, while theorically possible, seem unlikely.

We need to balance idealism with pragmatism; the potential loss
of a meaningful contributor to the very real costs associated with
dealing with spam.

Personally, I rank this type of discrimination as comparable to
the mandatory tie policy at some restaurants.  Those restaurants 
normally have a "courtesy" tie for "needy" patrons, and likewise
the list server can always add a subscription to these sites if the person 
makes a good case.

I would suggest that subsriptions from any free email sites be 
blocked, with the reply something like this sent:

   Because of the nature of this list, we request that
   contributors subscribe through a regular ISP account
   with full privileges.  If you are unable to do so for 
   some reason, please provide an explanation of your 
   situation to the list server and, if appropriate, your 
   subscription will be added.

Similar messages could be sent to subscription requests from the
larger ISPes, if an unusual number of spammers are coming from
those sites.

> If you forward full messages (with headers) to abuse@aol.net, they will
> lose their accounts.  If you are feeling energetic, then try to work out
> who their web ISP is, and Cc: to webmaster@ or postmaster@ there...

That puts the onus on the victim.  Again. 

Let's keep some basic facts in mind.  Time I spend responding
to spam is time I'm not spending on something productive.
Many of these ISPs are indifferent or outright rogue.  Even
when they do act, the spammers simply get another account
and spam, spam again.  We've reached the point, for better
or worse, that the only real way to fight spammers is in the
court system.  Even then some (e.g., Spamford Wallace) simply
spam, spam again.

The time per message may not be much, but it adds up.  If I
responded to each message, I would waste about a work day every
week, or a full work-week every month.  And I would have nothing
to show for it.

Responding to spam messages individually may sound "fairest,"
but it's rapidly joining the policeman directing traffic at
every intersection as totally impractical.  If we reduce the
spamming level by simple measures, we should use them.

Bear Giles

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