[Mailman-Users] Feature Request: Selective Mass Subscription

Cyndi Norwitz cyndi at tikvah.com
Thu Jul 10 20:34:11 CEST 2008

   Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 13:20:01 -0500
   From: Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>

   Cyndi Norwitz wrote:

   > P.S. I still don't understand why they insist on an invite model.

   Because all it takes is one listowner that doesn't understand and does a 
   mass subscribe of a number of people, some of those people complain and then 
   the entire ISP gets blacklisted.  And some blacklists you simply cannot 
   *EVER* get them to remove you.

Actually, by "invite model" I meant that the user had to click on a link
and confirm by signing up on the website.  But a fellow user at my ISP
tested it and pointed out that, while there is indeed an option to use the
link to sign up, you can simply reply to the invite message and that will
start your subscription.  So I stand corrected on that one.

   Personally, I would be happy to see the "mass subscribe" feature go away
   completely from the web interface of Mailman, or at least disabled by
   default.  But then I've been fighting spam since the time I was the Sr.
   Internet Mail Administrator at AOL in '95, and this is a subject that I
   feel very strongly about.

I have mixed feelings.  Obviously, as a listowner I know *I* do things
responsibly and want the tools to go with it.  As someone who could be the
victim of an irresponsible listowner, or trying to put myself into the
position of an ISP, I realize that the tool can be terribly misused and the
software should make it hard or impossible to do that.

The person at my ISP I spoke to on the phone said that, in the event of a
complaint, they would simply want proof that the person wanted to be
added.  Every single person I've added to lists I've run on other software
(or would add to MM lists if I could) falls into one of 3 categories:
someone who has tried and failed to subscribe her/himself and asks me to do
it (I keep the email trail); someone who signs up on a paper form and not
only gives their email but also checks a box saying "add me to the mailing
list" (I keep the paper); someone I am friends with or have a business
relationship with who asks me to add them (no paper trail here usually but
I could get the person to write email or call correcting any complaint they
might have made by accident (never happened so far)).  The ISP person said
that would be fine by him.

I really really hate having my ability to effectively run lists (or
websites or chats) curtailed because of the huge numbers of greedy jerks
out there.  I realize it can't be ignored but I am hoping there could be
some middle ground.  

I thought Mark's suggestion of limiting direct adds to a small number per
time unit, or my ISP's suggestion of being able to give particular lists or
listowners the ability to do direct adds (overruled by his superviser it
seems), to be quite reasonable.


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