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Re: semi-moderating debian lists

On Sun, Oct 27, 2002 at 01:38:29AM +0200, Santiago Vila wrote:
> On Sat, 26 Oct 2002, Duncan Findlay wrote:
> > On Sat, Oct 26, 2002 at 09:20:25PM +0200, Santiago Vila wrote:

> > If lists.debian.org were to upgrade to SA 2.4x, I'd bet on a serious
> > reduction in spam. Going to moderation style lists is simply
> > unnecessary.
> No, this is not moderation-style, this is *semi*-moderation. Only a
> very small fraction of all messages will be moderated: Those who have
> a score higher than "Y".
> My proposal does not depend on what spamassassin version we are using.
> If we have a better SA, we can, at our choice, make moderator's work
> easier, or reduce the spam level even more by reducing the level at
> which messages are moderated.
> A different SA version will not change the fact that the probability
> of a message being spam increases as its SA score increases. What
> I propose is to moderate messages which have more than, say, 80% of
> probability of being spam. Currently this happens at a score of 2.0
> approximately.

Here's an idea. Instead of moderating messages with scores over 2 or
3, set up a TMDA type system, where high scoring messages from users
that have never posted or subscribed are bounced back with a message
asking them to reply with a "password", or reply to a different
address, or visit a webpage or something. When they do, they are added
to the whitelist and can post freely. This one-time delay would only
apply to suspect spammers. Why should _we_ check mails manually for
spamminess? Why can't we make the user prove to us he's not a spammer.

Some will argue that this kind of system is incredibly obnoxious and
annoying. I agree. However, lots of spam is incredibly annoying too. I
hate it when people install this kind of system on their personal
e-mail, but properly configured on a mailing list, this could be quite

> > Plus, I feel that moderation takes away from the overall "openness" of
> > the Debian project. Sure, only slightly spammy messages are moderated,
> > but still, it reduces the community feel.
> Spam also reduces the "community feel". When I see a spam on a debian
> lists I think: Who invited this guy to write here?
> Debian should not be open to spammers and a small delay in spammy
> messages will not reduce the "community feel", it will increase it
> since we will have less spam.

Small delay? We're talking many hours, most likely. Realistically, we
aren't going to have moderators working 24/7. You may have many
volunteers to moderate now, but it'll all wear off after a few weeks,
and you'll be short on volunteers that really want to perform this
very boring and time consuming task.

Even if it's not as consuming as I think it would be, it's more
consuming than my proposal, which is automated.

Duncan Findlay

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