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Re: packages with invalid maintainer fields

Russ Allbery <rra@stanford.edu> writes:

> Plus, I really don't think there's any way that one can achieve, let
> alone mandate, zero false positives -- as previously mentioned,
> purely human spam filtering does not have zero false positives.

There's a wild difference between these two cases, which is about the
taking of responsibility.

When someone's over-eager spam rules bounce my message, and I
complain, I get answers normally like Marco d'Itri's: "It's your fault
for being a loser with a dynamic IP address."  When I was at MIT and a
Big Famous RBL decided that MIT (all of MIT, in fact) should be
blacklisted, and I complained to the mail servers using that BL, I was
told it was my fault that their over-eager rules hosed me.

This is not universal, but it is extremely common.  Even someone as
patient and decent as you doesn't give a hint in your email here that
if your rule is over-broad and drops a valid message, you would regard
that as something you must fix, or apologize for, or anything other
than "this is the price that (other people) have to pay."

By sharp contrast, if I accidentally delete a message, I don't blame
the other person.  I accept it as my fault, something I have done
wrong.  And I've never had someone say "I deleted your message
accidentally, but it was your fault, so I'm not going to apologize."

So part of what's going on in the shift from by-hand false positives
to automated false positives is a little bit of the old "blame it on
the computer".


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