[Mailman-Users] Redacted Email Address in Feedback Loop

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Mon Aug 18 05:33:43 CEST 2014

Peter Knowles writes:

 > What is the best way to deal with feedback loop messages where the
 > provider has redacted the email address of the party who filed the
 > complaint?

What do you want to do with this information?  Just unsubscribe that
user?  I'd say pass the buck back to the provider.

First, you need to be sure that you have not passed any spam, and
second that your mailman host DKIM signs all its mail.  You must have
a subscribe and confirm-by-email process.  If all that is true, then
you can make a reasonable case that the user really just wants to
unsubscribe, and did subscribe themselves in the first place.  Write
to the postmaster at the provider (or whoever the contact is), and
send them your unsubscribe link, and tell them to pass it on to the

If they won't do that, write a "more in sorrow than in anger" message
to the list explaining that Beavis and Butthead ISP is about to ban
your list due to spurious complaints, that they won't help their users
unsubscribe and conceal the information required for the list admin to
do it, and so you are setting all of their users to nomail.  Then do
it.  You're not hurting anybody, because if you don't do this, the ISP
will ban you and they're effectively off the list anyway.

This isn't 100% effective, because it's quite possible that the
subscribed address is in a different domain, and is just forwarding to

If you're actually sending commercial email (solicited, of course!) 
and that would hit your bottom line, I'm sorry, but you're screwed.
You just keep going and hope they don't ban you.

 > Does Mailman have any built in methods on dealing with this issue?

No.  This is a people problem, and the broken brains are not at your
site.  There's no automatic fix.

 > At the moment we "force" a custom footer on all messages which
 > includes the recipients email address, and the list they belong to,
 > but recently a few ISPs have even been redacting data in that part
 > of the message.

Since you have full personalization set on, each recipient is getting
a different message, and therefore each message goes in a separate
SMTP transaction, and will have a separate Received line (for receipt
*from* Mailman) and a separate MTA queue number.  Your MTA log should
be able to tell you where it went.

If they're redacting the trace headers, well, again, there's nothing
you can do.


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