[Mailman-Users] GNU Mailmain 2.1.9: Filtering Messages based on

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Wed May 21 20:42:26 CEST 2008

Hank van Cleef wrote:

> 3. Mail lists post messages from humans that are intended to be read
> by other humans.  What is acceptable behavior is strictly human in
> nature.  Sociology, rather than technology, is what will set and
> maintain standards.  It is very important to have moderators who have
> good skills at guiding group behavior.  And, yes, there is moderator
> workload involved in making this work.  Once a list's focal point and
> demographics are clearly established, almost all issues involving
> listmember conduct are sociological.

Agreed.  Virtually all lists that I've administered where we required 
confirm+approve and automatically moderated all new users, those lists have 
never had a spam problem.  Well, at least not that the users see -- I may 
have to filter through dozens or hundreds of spam messages a day that get 
past the multitudes of layers of anti-spam filters in the MTA, but the users 
don't see any of that.

But all the real controls are social.  A sufficiently motivated attacker 
could easily get past the methods we have employed so far, and do 
significant damage to the list once they get through.  At that point, we 
would have to deal with the problem in whatever way is necessary, and then 
try to figure out how to prevent that in the future.

But I never lose sight of the fact that we're trying to use technical means 
to deal with a social problem.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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