[Mailman-Users] problems with new web host and "too many complaints"

Jonathan Dill jonathan at nerds.net
Fri Aug 31 22:50:57 CEST 2007

Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:
> How was the "opt-in" done?  Was it done with Mailman's confirmation 
> process, or  would it have been possible for person A to accidently or 
> maliciously get person B on the list?  If the latter, I would consider 
> the list mailing unacceptable.
If the list was hosted on one of our servers, we definitely would have 
refused to host the list under these conditions.  However, in this case 
they own the server, which is located at their own office, and they have 
asked me for advice as a consultant.  I have told them before that they 
should require confirmation and explained why they should do that.  
Sometimes, people have to learn things the hard way, nothing I can do 
about that.  However, sometimes it is helpful to have comments from 
other people and other sources that I can point to that corroborate what 
I have been telling them all along, "best practices" and all that.

My position at this point is "this is a policy issue, not a technical 
issue."  I have warned them that trying to sneak around the problem by 
technical means is just begging to have their account terminated as a 
violation of the TOS, and that moving to another hosting service is no 
guarantee that they won't run into the same objections again.
> That is a good idea.  This is really the only way your customer can 
> continue with the mass mailing.  There may have been things that your 
> customer might have done earlier to prevent this state of affairs, but 
> at this point, what the hosting providers are suggesting is the only 
> way forward, unless your customer can document how each address came 
> to be added to the list with some evidence that the  person who reads 
> mail at that addresses confirmed the process.
They do have a paper trail for some of the subscriptions from paper 
forms that people filled out at certain events, but I don't think the 
documentation has been maintained with the thought in mind that someday 
this could be "audited", but again, this is really a policy and clerical 
issue and not a technical issue.  Possibly, I could help them to find a 
solution to better manage the documentation, beyond that, it is really 
outside my scope of work.  I have managed several other lists for other 
customers on other servers (albeit much smaller than this uber list) all 
of those have required confirmation, have never run into to this type of 
problem with the other lists.


More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list