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Re: Holy Spam!

On Fri, 3 Oct 2003 12:13:28 -0400 (EDT), Jon Earle <noreply@hotmail.com> penned:
> I sent _one_ post to the debian-users list yesterday.  One.  I neglected
> to use an alias I'd created for posting to that list, and, due to their
> open posting policy and their email-usenet gateway and the availability of
> addresses in the clear within the list archives, within _minutes_, I
> started receiving viruses, spam and other crap.  My mail logs since
> yesterday show a _ton_ of crap coming at me now!  Unbelievable!
> This open list policy that so many lists have, while it _may_, and I'm
> placing a lot of faith and emphasis on the 'may', offer the occasional
> newbie or (individual who couldn't be bothered to subscribe multiple
> addresses) the ability to post[1], that, coupled with gatewaying to news,
> I feel is just plain irresponsible.  It's a _very_ poorly thought out
> policy that I feel does more to harm the list community that help
> (particularly the list gateway to news).
> I understand their is a passion and an almost a cult-like religion to keep
> things completely open, free, unencumbered, unfettered, etc, however,
> _controls_, not restrictions, are neccessary to ensure the integrity of
> the list environment.  Users don't want spam, and they do want their
> service providers to take reasonable, not intrusive, but reasonable
> measures to reduce or eliminate their exposure to the spam industry.
> I've been forced to change my email address, thanks to the debian mailing
> list.  Is this a positive result of the desire for openness?
> Cheers!
> Jon
> [1] Once the message is posted, how does said newbie receive replies if
> those helping just reply to the list.  The whole policy makes _no_ sense
> whatsoever.

I think you're misdiagnosing the problem.

If you can't remember to set your email address to something other than
your main account, you should think about using a mailer like mutt that
will do it for you based on the recipient.

I can't speak for newbies, but I can speak for me.  I use the gmane
newsgroup interface to read this list, so subscribing would just create
spam for *me* rather than for you.  With the current method, it's also
possible to post to the group and read the response by scanning the
archives online.  In fact, newbies are encouraged to read the archives
*before* mailing the list ...

Unless a subscription service provides the "no mail" option, I strongly
prefer an open mailing list.  Even if it does provide the no mail
option, I still prefer the open list.

Subscriber-only mailing lists are designed to prevent spam from entering
the list, not to protect you from your own mistakes.

I understand that spam is a royal pain in the butt, and I sympathize,
but there are many ways to mitigate the pain -- many of which have been
discussed here in recent days.  Perhaps setting up some spam filters
would be a more viable solution -- after all, the solution you suggest
is only effective if *every* mailing list you ever use converts to
subscription-only.  Spam filters will be effective no matter what lists
you use.

Please respond to the group OR to my email, but not both.  (Group preferred.)

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