[Mailman-Users] gmail

Bernie Cosell bernie at fantasyfarm.com
Wed Sep 12 22:15:51 EDT 2018

On 13 Sep 2018 at 10:35, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> Bernie Cosell writes:
>  > I've gotten buried by 80 bounce messages, thanks to gmail's new
>  > policy [that was, apparently, put into effect yesterday].  The
>  > bounces say:
> Can you provide more information about this, or are you deducing a new
> policy from the sudden spate of bounces?  I ask because
>  >     Please visit 421-4.7.0
>  >     https://support.google.com/mail/answer/81126#authentication for
> more
>  >     421- 4.7.0 information.
>  > 
>  > I looked at their 'answer' and mostly found it to be unhelpful.
> That's at least partly because it's bog-standard best-practice advice,
> and I see no evidence that anything in that document has changed
> recently.

Well, something changed between Thursday and Friday, because posts to the list 
were fine and this one generated a bounce for every gmail member.

> 1.  One (usually more for Google) of your list posts actually was spam
>     or otherwise abusive.

I don't think that would get me an "authentication" complaint, would it?    But 
that hypothesis would make sense if through some oddity of google spam 
detection they decided a perfectly legitimate list message was spam and so 
bounced it.   It certainly wasn't abusive [although it was a [civil] complaint].
Also, I realized after Joseph enlightened me/us why it took until Monday for the 
Friday-post to bounce: google, in their wisdom, has issued a "temporary try 
again" error instead of a fatal [500] one.   My service provider kept trying for 
three days and I got the bounces when their queue runner timed out the message.

I understood that the error message was mostly normal SPF/DKIM bafflegab, 
but it appeared that none of the things it complained about were things under 
my control and I face the question: did google change their policy on all 
incoming email [easy for them to do!] or did my service provider break the DNS 
stuff for just our domain [out of the thousands of domains they host].  I asked 
here because i guessed the former was more likely [but I also submitted a trouble 
ticket to my service provider..:o)]

> 2.  A group of your subscribers at Gmail took serious offense to
>     something posted and reported to Gmail simultaneously.

Unlikely...   I'm the "postmaster" for the list and they'd have complained to me [as 
they have in the past].

> 3.  One or more users on another list served by your host did
>     something remarkably abusive and the whole domain was marked as a
>     bad/incompetent actor.

That is a possibility!!  I left my last service provide [just a month ago!] when it 
had managed to get banned by aol, comcast, oneand1, mindspring.com, 
netscape.net, optonline.net, roadrunner.com,  verizon.net and a  bunch of others.  
I would *hate* to have to be the tech at one of these mega-domain-service-hosts.  
They may have thousands of domains and who knows how many people passing 
mail through them, and all it takes is a few bad actors to get their IP block 
banned, and I know [having had to do this job at an ISP I worked at] it is 
annoying and often difficult to get it fixed.  [a credit where it is due: some of the 
RBL/blocking places allow you just to say "I'm the sysop at <IP> and I've fixed 
the problem, please let me go" and they do.  Others make it feel like they're doing 
you a huge favor to not blacklist you.

> 4.  A DNS-related snafu made it look like your whole IP block was
>     transferred to a group full of abusers, even though nothing bad
>     has happened in your own IP.

That's a possiblity -- I've contacted the ISP {as i mentioned} and although I've 
heard nothing, the problem *seems* to have been a one-shot [subsequent posts to 
the mialing list have not [yet] bounced from gmail] -- I'll know for sure in another 
two days...:o)]. 

> 1, 2, and 3 you can sometimes do something about, including getting in
> touch with Google, reporting that "this happened", and explaining why
> "it won't happen again" (in case 3, "not my list's fault").  Google is
> awfully big and may not care about you, but miracles do happen and 10
> minutes writing an email to them might work one.  YMMV, of course.

Is there any way to do this?  I have absolutely nothing to do with google [no 
accounts, no mailbox there, no google-apps, no hangouts, etc] but even from the 
google fanboys I correspond with I'm told that tech support is essentially 
nonexistent.   When I had a problem once, years ago, it took finding a friend of a 
friend who worked at google to email my question to..:o)

But enough on this, since it isn't a mailman problem [the only thing I kinda 
wondered is if there were some setting, akin to the DMARC settings, that might 
ameliorate this].   Thanks for all the info and with luck my service host has fixed 
up our DNS

            Bernie Cosell
       bernie at fantasyfarm.com
-- Too many people; too few sheep --

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