[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam onpostedaddresses...

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen@xemacs.org
20 Feb 2002 00:48:38 +0900

>>>>> "Chuq" == Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui@plaidworks.com> writes:

    Chuq> But -- I hate to be bullheaded about this, but I will be --
    Chuq> how does this benefit YOUR LIST? Yes, it benefits others,
    Chuq> and there's some value to that, but does it actually add
    Chuq> value to your list? Enough value to warrant handing your
    Chuq> subscriber list to the spammers?

To be precise, it's not the subscriber list; only about 1 in 5 posts,

    Chuq> If you "put it up to a vote" after explaining the situation,
    Chuq> do you think the subscribers of your list would vote to stay
    Chuq> in google?

I don't know.  The people who post are a pretty public-spirited bunch,
and they might very well volunteer for the abuse if that means that
non-subscriber XEmacs users get better service.  It may not be all
that costly to them, either.  I only see about 15% of the spam sent my
way, and I don't filter very hard.  I think a lot of the posters do
substantially better than that (eg, we've got several TMDA users).

But it really doesn't matter, because the XEmacs devel lists are an
extreme case as far as I can tell.  I guess my bottom line here is
that you've got me convinced that the _default_ should be no Google
and private archives.  My basic point was to give an example of a case
where the purpose of the list is more than just communication among
the subscribers.  I suppose that in some cases that purpose warrants
considering open archives, just as list managers have to have
published addresses so they can perform subscriber services.

Now that I'm aware of the issue, I'll have to do something about
assessing whether the value to non-subscriber users outweighs the
abuse the posters take.

But once again, I'd like to point out that _I didn't explicitly ask
for this job_.  I'm doing it because the mailing list is an essential
service to XEmacs users, and the archives are too.  Since the guy who
was list admin ran out of volunteer time, leaving things in this
state, I'm "it".  Note: he was presumably aware of the issue---he's a
long-time TMDA user.  And he took a fair amount of care to make things
as easy as possible for those who followed; he moved to Mailman as the
list server, for example, although as far as the list subscribers were
concerned the existing Majordomo installation was working fine.

If a conscientious expert sets things up this way, how was I supposed
to know?  I certainly hope Mailman will _by default_ make it easy for
people in my position to do the right thing.

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences     http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
              Don't ask how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.