[Mailman-Users] Welcoming SPAM: Sign-Up Approval, and Two-Phase Posting

Clark Evans clark.evans at manhattanproject.com
Fri Feb 12 19:04:51 CET 1999

I was thinking how one can deter spam, and 
when you can't deter it, at least benifit

Here are my ideas:

a) First, Signup-Approval process.

I think this exists, but it's not clear how to use it.
I envision John Doe signing up, it going to the administrator's
in-box who then can approve or deny the signup.

b) Security Deposit

Perhaps it woundn't be such a bad idea to ask for
a credit card for a security deposit.  Charge $5 or
so for "site access".  This could help raise funds
to cover web site charges and other side charges
for many internet open-source projects. Kinda 
like "dues" for being able to recieve posts
from the list.

I'm not sure about this one.. just a thought.

c) Two-Phase Post

When a poster goes to send it off to the server,
the server stores a local copy and then e-mails
back to the sender (after verifying that they
are signed up), an "approval" mail, much like
the confirmation to be added to the list.

The "approval" e-mail would have a copy of
the posting-policy.  Reminding posters what
the requirements for the post should be: On-Topic, 
Only 1 post per topic per 6 hour period, etc.

This would discourage mass posters from using 
a list, and would also help those "multiple" post
people... who *really* should consolidate all
of their comments and post a single response.

d) Fines

If you combine (b) and (c) you could also 
list a fine to be charged if the e-mail fails
to comply with the posting requirements.
A $500 fine for off-topic posts could be a 
very nice way to raise revenue for an 
open-source project.   

Taking this further, you could have several
"posting classes"

a) Questions  ( free or charge to raise 
                revenue for bug-fixer awards)
b) Answers    ( free! )
c) On-topic Commercial Announcements ($100)
d) Off-topic Commercial Announcements ($500)


In otherwords, don't "fight" SPAM, merely turn
it into a source of revenue for open-source projects.

People won't mind receiving SPAM if they *know* 
it cost $money$ to the poster and will be used
to cover web site costs, "awards" for active 
programmers and bug-fixers, subsidized 
manual printing, etc.  (There are thousands
of ways to spend the money in a fair way)


Clark Evans

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