On 5 Jan 2012, at 23:35, Monica Chew wrote:
On Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 5:23 AM, Ian Eiloart email@example.com wrote:
Now, if Gmail also prominently exposed the list-unsubscribe header, then the EU regulations on marketing messages would be satisfied. In my view, hiding the unsubscribe information in a menu isn't enough to satisfy the "easy to use" requirement, though it seems that Gmail does better than most vendors in this respect.
The exposure is more than in the menu dropdown. If the message comes from a mailing list with good reputation, and the user clicks "Report spam", then Gmail offers to send an unsubscribe message to the mailto address in List-Unsubscribe. The reason we have the reputation check is that we do not want spammy senders to use the unsubscribe emails for list washing.
That strikes me as very odd. Actually, awful.
This will encourage users to think that the way to unsubscribe from a mailing list is to hit the "report spam" button. That's really bad news for responsible list providers. It's bad because when those same users go to another client (perhaps they've been asked for advice by a hotmail user, for example), they'll hit "report spam" and generate a spam report without getting the opportunity to unsubscribe. The two options need to be separately identified at the top level of the interface.
Finally, if Mailman allowed users to choose whether to get the footer added, and subject munged, then Gmail users might avoid these issues anyway. Mailman might provide a list of domains for which this was the default behaviour, and site admins should be able to manage such a list. Mailman might even provide updates for this list. Of course, it's complicated: for example I use Gmail, but with a vanity domain. And then I use the IMAP interface with a client that doesn't expose list headers.
My view is that a one-click setting to preserve DKIM might be useful, but it should carry a health warning saying something like: "If you're an organisation in the EU, and this list helps to promote your organisation, or keep people in touch with your organisation, then selecting this option may be in breach of your country's mail privacy laws." In fact, it may be illegal if you simply have a list subscriber in the EU.
Hmm, this seems difficult to enforce. How would I know if a list subscriber were in the EU? Even if the member address were obviously not hosted in the EU, it could easily forward to an EU address.
Good question. The best thing is to assume there is an EU subscriber. It's good practice, in any case, to include an unsubscribe option with all marketing messages.
However, things will change when the list-unsubscribe header is exposed to most users, in a way that makes it easy for them to unsubscribe. So, if Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo were to get this right, then it would be reasonable to *only* provide list-unsubscribe.