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Re: Dealing with spam on the mailing lists

On Tue, Dec 24, 2019 at 5:23 AM nyov wrote:

> I propose a global double-opt-in approach for unknown email-addresses
> to debian's Mailing-Lists as a non-human moderation process.

Debian gets a lot of folks (especially on debian-www) who send us only
one mail/thread, so I think double opt-in is likely to be an undue
burden on those people and could put off potential future contributors
contacting us for the first time.

We also get a lot of folks who can't manage to unsubscribe from
announce mailing lists, even when someone (like me) puts their email
address into the unsubscribe form for them, so I think your proposal
would be somewhere between very hard and impossible for a subset of
Debian mailing list posters to navigate.

Personally, I think that the completely open mailing lists and bug
tracking systems with no account creation or need to prove oneself in
any way is a huge advantage of Debian. When I try to contact other
projects about small issues I see or questions I have and get blocked
by moderation or having to register an account it is quite annoying
and sometimes leads me to forget my issue or question or just leave in

I think that optimising for lack of spam over openness optimises for
the time of Debian insiders who have been with the project for a long
time over people encountering us for the first time. As we are all
getting older I would prefer that we become more inclusive over time
rather than less.

Our human-moderated wiki sign up process already puts people off and
sometimes generates unfortunately but understandably hostile
responses. It has been a huge blessing for almost completely
eliminating spam though (IIRC I got fooled by a spammer once or twice)
on the wiki though. While there is room for improvement on tech,
wording and moderation team size, I think it is not a good idea to
extend moderation to the mailing lists and BTS in particular. OTOH I
would like to see an enhanced wiki-style moderation for accounts on
Salsa & any future SSO platform, with the moderation staffed by a
"Debian Welcome Team" who are knowledgable about welcoming new folks
and knowledgable about the breadth and history of Debian in order to
direct folks to the right places.


Even full human moderation of every new poster isn't going to be
perfect, I got fooled by spammers attempting to spam the wiki once or
twice and I regularly see folks responding to spam on debian-www.



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