FAQ
Is there any option that can be set in Mailman so that a message by a
non-member is automatically deleted, rather that pestering the list manager
about appoving/deleting it?

I've just moved to a new site. I had Mailman on both sites. Since I've
gotten onto the new one, I am getting these quite frequently. I rarely got
these before. It's getting to be quite annoying.

Regards,



Fred

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  • Tom Wolfe at May 25, 2006 at 12:03 pm
    There sure is, for Mailman 2.1.5 (and I belive earlier versions as
    well):

    go to Privacy > Sender filters > scroll down to "Action to take for
    postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined" (near
    the bottom) > set to Discard, yahoo no more pestering.

    Some other good options on that page & others, look through and read
    each page in the admin section.

    Regards,
    Tom Wolfe
    On Thu, 2006-05-25 at 07:50 -0400, Fred Atkinson wrote:
    Is there any option that can be set in Mailman so that a message by a
    non-member is automatically deleted, rather that pestering the list manager
    about appoving/deleting it?

    I've just moved to a new site. I had Mailman on both sites. Since I've
    gotten onto the new one, I am getting these quite frequently. I rarely got
    these before. It's getting to be quite annoying.

    Regards,



    Fred

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  • Brad Knowles at May 25, 2006 at 1:54 pm

    At 7:50 AM -0400 2006-05-25, Fred Atkinson wrote:

    Is there any option that can be set in Mailman so that a message by a
    non-member is automatically deleted, rather that pestering the list manager
    about appoving/deleting it?
    Deleting? No, not really. You could automatically discard the
    message, but that would cause some problems for people who would
    otherwise think that the message was accepted and posted to the list.
    Generally speaking, the recommended solution is to automatically
    reject such messages -- which informs the sender, and allows them to
    take appropriate action.

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
    temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
    Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

    LOPSA member since December 2005. See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.
  • Peter C.S. Adams at May 25, 2006 at 9:32 pm

    Thus spake Brad Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>, circa 5/25/2006 9:54 AM:
    Generally speaking, the recommended solution is to automatically
    reject such messages -- which informs the sender, and allows them to
    take appropriate action.
    In the old days, this was certainly true, but today, when 70-80% of all
    emails on the internet are spam, you may easily find that rejecting all
    those messages will (a) eat up a lot of your internet bandwidth, and (b)
    exacerbate the problem by telling the "sender" of the message -- which will,
    90% of the time, be a forged address -- that "their" mail was rejected.

    I have a handful of lists set to "reject," but most are set to discard. In
    my opinion, the poster should be subscribed to the list and set to receive
    mail; otherwise they should have no expectation that their message was
    distributed.

    peter

    --
    Peter C.S. Adams
    Director of Information and Communication Technologies
    College of Public and Community Service, UMass Boston
    "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one;
    enemy to none." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Brad Knowles at May 26, 2006 at 6:03 am

    At 5:32 PM -0400 2006-05-25, Peter C.S. Adams wrote:

    In the old days, this was certainly true, but today, when 70-80% of all
    emails on the internet are spam, you may easily find that rejecting all
    those messages will (a) eat up a lot of your internet bandwidth, and (b)
    exacerbate the problem by telling the "sender" of the message -- which will,
    90% of the time, be a forged address -- that "their" mail was rejected.
    This is a pretty sore point in the business right now.

    Which is more important? Wasting your bandwidth, eating up your
    MTA resources, and potentially notifying spammers that they didn't
    get through? Or simply throwing everything away, including messages
    that might have had great personal or business significance?


    Think about spam in general. Which is worse? Dealing with large
    quantities of spam to try to find the relatively small amount of
    legitimate mail? Or throwing everything away that might potentially
    be spam, possibly including important messages from your boss, your
    spouse, your parents, your children, your co-workers, prospective
    business partners, etc...?


    Myself, I tend to err on the side of caution. If they've managed
    to get through my anti-spam filters and the message fails the test of
    whether or not the poster is a subscriber to the list, the best thing
    to do is to hold those messages for moderation. Failing that, the
    next best thing to do is to attempt to notify the sender that the
    message was rejected (making sure to use rate-limiting technology so
    as to avoid excessive joe-job blowback).

    Only as a last resort is it appropriate to simply throw away
    messages that would otherwise have been held for moderation.


    But then maybe you've got different kinds of mailing lists where
    you don't really care about the content and where the posters don't
    really care about the content, and no one is going to get upset if
    some messages get thrown away.

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
    temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
    Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

    LOPSA member since December 2005. See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.
  • Peter C.S. Adams at May 26, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    Thus spake Brad Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>, circa 5/26/2006 2:03 AM:
    Think about spam in general. Which is worse? Dealing with large
    quantities of spam to try to find the relatively small amount of
    legitimate mail? Or throwing everything away that might potentially
    be spam, possibly including important messages from your boss, your
    spouse, your parents, your children, your co-workers, prospective
    business partners, etc...?
    I'm not following. My lists accept all mail from subscribers. If they're not
    subscribed, they can't post. If the messages are important, people will
    notice if they're not distributed.
    But then maybe you've got different kinds of mailing lists where
    you don't really care about the content and where the posters don't
    really care about the content, and no one is going to get upset if
    some messages get thrown away.
    Most of my lists are for people who are subscribed. On the very rare
    occasion that a message is from a different email address, they contact me
    and ask me where the message went, and I either whitelist their other
    address or add them as nomail subscribers. This has happened 3-4 in four
    years on about 20 lists.

    Meanwhile, I often get dozens of messages per day helpfully telling me that
    my Mac is infected with SoBig or some other Windows virus and is sending
    copies of itself out, as an example. "From" lines are routinely forged,
    making "you are not subscribed" messages far less useful than they could be.

    I'm not saying this is right for everyone, but neither is setting lists to
    reject.

    --
    Peter C.S. Adams (617) 287-7118
    Director of Information and Communication Technologies
    College of Public and Community Service, UMass Boston
    "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one;
    enemy to none." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack
  • Brad Knowles at May 27, 2006 at 7:40 am

    At 5:40 PM -0400 2006-05-26, Peter C.S. Adams wrote:

    I'm not saying this is right for everyone, but neither is setting lists to
    reject.
    You run your lists your way, I run my lists my way. Neither way
    is the best solution in all cases.

    This is why we have multiple options to choose from.

    --
    Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

    "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
    temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

    -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
    Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

    LOPSA member since December 2005. See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.
  • Christopher Adams at May 26, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    On 5/26/06, Christopher Adams wrote:
    I agree in part. My site hosts over 500 lists and has about 100,000
    subscribers. By default, all new lists are set to Reject messages from
    "non-members" and sends them a message indicating that either their address
    has changed, they are sending from a different account, or they really
    aren't a member. Normally, I would think that simply discarding messages
    from "non-members" would be the best tactic. However, there were some
    situations with management on my own staff where a list owner subscribed an
    email address alias for someone in management. Since the alias was not the
    actual address that they were sending from, the message was discarded
    without any alert to the sender, so she assumed it was sent.

    On occasion, when I know there are problems with address aliases, I just
    add the non-subscribed alias as a non-member that can post, or as a
    subscriber set to 'no mail'. But, for so many lists and subscribers, there
    is the potential for problems with other lists. So, I set the default, let
    the list owners modify it if they like, and deal with the bandwidth issue
    and the fact that the system is actually making a contact with the address,
    many which are forged.

    On 5/25/06, Peter C.S. Adams wrote:

    Thus spake Brad Knowles <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>, circa 5/25/2006 9:54
    AM:
    Generally speaking, the recommended solution is to automatically
    reject such messages -- which informs the sender, and allows them to
    take appropriate action.
    In the old days, this was certainly true, but today, when 70-80% of all
    emails on the internet are spam, you may easily find that rejecting all
    those messages will (a) eat up a lot of your internet bandwidth, and (b)

    exacerbate the problem by telling the "sender" of the message -- which
    will,
    90% of the time, be a forged address -- that "their" mail was rejected.

    I have a handful of lists set to "reject," but most are set to discard.
    In
    my opinion, the poster should be subscribed to the list and set to
    receive
    mail; otherwise they should have no expectation that their message was
    distributed.

    peter

    --
    Peter C.S. Adams
    Director of Information and Communication Technologies
    College of Public and Community Service, UMass Boston
    "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one;
    enemy to none." -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack


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    --
    Christopher Adams
    adamsca at gmail.com


    --
    Christopher Adams
    adamsca at gmail.com

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postedMay 25, '06 at 11:50a
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