[Mailman-Users] what constitutes spam?

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Thu Apr 26 18:40:12 CEST 2012

On Apr 26, 2012, at 2:39 AM, Anne Wainwright wrote:

> 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?

Okay, so first off, you did send the message unsolicited.  That is generally considered to be one of the most basic hallmarks of spam -- the recipient got something that they never asked for.

If you had a prior direct business relationship with that recipient, and they had expressed interest in being on your mailing list at some point in time in the past, then you could potentially claim that the message was not spam.  Outside of that scenario, you fail test #1 -- go straight to jail, do not pass "Go", do not collect $200.

That said, there are a lot of clueless Yahoo! customers, many of whom have actively asked to be on mailing lists that are hosted on python.org using Mailman, and yet they still do stupid stuff like clicking on the "THIS IS SPAM" button when the message in question was a regular message from the list that was posted as part of a discussion that they themselves were participating in -- clearly not spam.

If I were actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the python.org mail system, given the amount of complaints like this that we continue to get from Yahoo! on a daily basis, I would be strongly inclined to simply ban all subscriptions from addresses at yahoo.com -- just like many mailing list administrators used to do for aol.com.  Yahoo is just too poorly administered, there are way too many clueless users, and the company doesn't begin to bother to educate their users as to when they should not click the "THIS IS SPAM" button.

However, the fact that Yahoo! is hopelessly clueless does not absolve you of the crime that you freely admit that you are guilty of.

If you wish to persist in your spammy ways, then we can make sure that your address gets unsubscribed from this list, and that your domain gets banned from sending e-mail to python.org.

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

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