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

Cyndi Norwitz cyndi at tikvah.com
Wed May 21 21:28:51 CEST 2008

   Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 13:42:26 -0500
   From: Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>

   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.

Yes.  Technology isn't going to fix the problem of malicious users, though
it can greatly reduce spam.  I have many of those myself.  The most recent
appears to be an employee of a business one of my subscribers was
complaining about.

What software like Mailman can do is to make our job as list owners
easier.  My post about the ban feature got lost as several other
discussions started immediately after.  Those were all suggestions on how
to make it easier for owners to deal with problem subscribers.

The filter by content feature that started this thread would be great too.
In my case, I want it to catch the various phrases used for the fake "it's
fair use so copyright law doesn't apply" notices.  That way I can
unmoderate more subscribers and save myself a lot of work.

The fewer steps it takes to control our lists, the easier it will be to
manage them.  Then we can spend more time focusing on content.  


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