[Mailman-Users] slightly OT: on not becoming a spam source

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull at sk.tsukuba.ac.jp
Fri May 30 23:22:06 CEST 2008

David Newman writes:

 > Initially I thought the changes I made to mailman would result in a 
 > unique Message-ID per recipient, but this does not appear to be the case.

Yeah, somebody actually said that, but they really meant the
Return-Path.  Changing Message-ID on regular posts would violate RFC
2822.  Message-ID ids the content, not the medium, and is an author
header: intermediate senders like Mailman must not touch it.  There is
a Resent-Message-ID that Mailman can set, but I don't know if that
would get returned by AOL.

Something has to be done to throw some of the burden back on these
ISPs.  I wonder if something along the lines of a monthly message like

    To our valued AOL subscribers:

    Because AOL's [privacy policy] has the inadvertant side effect of
    [making it impossible to determine who wants out], while their
    [unwanted mail policy] means that failure to address these
    complaints causes AOL to [refuse our mail to you], we have adopted
    a policy of [continuous opt-in].

    Your address will be automatically be set to no-mail in our
    database at TIME-DATE-ONE-WEEK-FROM-NOW.  To continue receiving
    our notices, please visit [your personal page] and renew your
    subscription at any time.  You may wish to check the [archives of
    past messages] in case you missed any.

    [Yes, keep sending me NAME-OF-LIST.]

    Sincerely yours,
    Da Management

might make the point.  (The brackets [] show location of links to
pages whose intended content should be clear.)  To make this minimally
annoying to the subscriber, there could be one-click links, and the
resubscription interval could be per-user-configurable (with the
default being every 15 minutes for AOLusers to ensure that they don't
receive any unwanted posts<wink>).

Obviously this isn't going to work very well if you have a newsletter
that is primarily of benefit to you for advertising etc, while the
clients put marginal value on it.  So it's just an idle daydream....

There might be something to the continuous opt-in idea with
appropriate support from Mailman, though, as that would provide
evidence that the user is being a jerk by hitting the spam button,
when they could just let the subscription lapse.

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