[Mailman-Users] what constitutes spam?

Richard Damon Richard at Damon-Family.org
Thu Apr 26 14:39:40 CEST 2012

On 4/26/12 3:39 AM, Anne Wainwright wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently sent an invite to an unknown third party. The invite came
> from my mailman list, we gave full particulars of who and where we are.
> We specifically advise that they are not at this stage subscribed to
> anything and will have to follow the detailed instructions (ie confirm)
> if they want to join the list. The third party is in the same trade as
> us, and deals with the same specialities, a third party customer had
> given me their address in good faith.
> This week my ISP contacts me with an upstream request from the national
> backbone provider to in effect desist from sending spam.
> Looking at the email returned, it was to an @yahoo address,  spamcop
> seems to have detected spam on the basis of it being a mailman message,
> I am not certain that it was not initiated by the recipient but the
> official complaint originated from yahoo it seems (who should surely
> know better).
> Subject: [] Yahoo Abuse Report - FW:confirm
> 3a35c56b531368da533112d96a9cb24c17cf6961
> As I said in my reply, this is hardly spam, I did not send it out to
> half a million addresses purchased on a cd. This makes a mockery of
> genuine spam prevention efforts when one email from a genuine address
> can be allowed to cause this. It 
> I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill, but what can I do
> about this. Is this a common occurence? Are invites from mailman now
> considered fair game for spam detection software and humans alike?
> bestest
> Anne
>From your first sentence "sent an invite to an unknown third party"
sounds to me like a reasonable definition of "spam". Generally invites
are used when the person has done some positive action that makes you
believe they might like the mailing and shows a willingness to have
contact with you, something like registering on your website. Another
person giving you their email address is normally NOT good enough of a
reason for you to send them the invite. Protocol would be for that third
party to contact the prospect directly (if they really did think that
your list might be worthwhile for them) and point them to that list. One
key factor here is that YOU are an "unknown" to the person you sent the
invite to, and one should NEVER follow a link or reply to an email from
an "unknown".

This sort of spam report tends to come because the person receiving the
message has themselves hit the "this is spam" button, and them pressing
it is a reasonable sign that you had over stepped the bounds by sending
them the message. It is also quite possible that Yahoo has received
multiple complaints (the one being quoted being an example), and this is
what has prompted them to contact your ISP with the complaint.

Richard Damon

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