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Re: BerkeleyLUG - list: "New member posts are moderated" - should I/we change that?
- To: BerkeleyLUG <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: BerkeleyLUG - list: "New member posts are moderated" - should I/we change that?
- From: Rick Moen <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2019 21:22:36 -0700
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Quoting goossbears (firstname.lastname@example.org):
> To turn this around, though, I would rather suggest that at the extreme,
> completely deploying the 'moderated' flag on subscribed senders puts
> the major burden of "working incrementally harder" on subscribers and
> rather eases the burden a bit on listadmins for the latter to continually
> have to review, filter-out as necessary, and reject illegitimate posters,
> by default.
Aaron, I have to apologise if I'm being dense, but I really have no idea
how this could possibly be the case. It's basically just not.
A listadmin's action concerning illegitimate posters, which 99% of
the time means spam from a non-subscribed address, should in every case
I'm aware of be: do nothing at all. The mailing list should be
configured to automatically expire messages out of queue (delete them)
after a certain number of days. On my Mailman lists I administer, I
keep the hold period to 3 days, so that I'll have time to act on any
(very, very rare) legit mail that ends up in queue before it expires,
even if it arrives at the beginning of a holiday weekend. If skittish
about this matter for starters, set the hold period to 5 days (and
you'll soon see that 3 will be fine and lose the spam sooner).
If you are doing any ongoing work concerning reviewing and disposing of
held spam, you're doing mailing list administration wrong.
> OTOH, completely eliminating the 'moderated' flag on subscribed
> senders rather puts the major burden of "working incrementally harder"
> on listadmins instead, and rather significantly eases the burden on
> both legitimate and illegitimate posters to get out their postings.
Again, I cannot see how this could possibly be true. The opposite is
the case. Somehow, one of us either doesn't understand mailing list
administration, or is communicating very badly.
> At some point or another on a fairly continuous basis, listadmins
> could (or even should) keep on top of completely unmoderated
> mailing-lists for the clear benefit of other subscribers to ensure
> both that the Volume of messages is at a manageable level and that the
> Content of threads is at least reasonably appropriate for the list
> (e.g., no spam-type messages, no drivel, no excessive or at all
> advertisements, ...etc.)
I don't actually know what the above passage means.
Aaron, you know I respect you, but somehow our communication on this
subject has gone deeply wonky.
In case it will help, let me describe routine Mailman administration for
three of the (considerable number of) lists I admin. Each has a
distinct configuration on account of very different needs. The first
two are the rare use-cases:
1 of 3: SVLUG 'Jobs' list, a fully moderated forum. For historical
reasons that would require a lot of time to explain, all subscribers get
the moderated flag at subscription and it's never cleared. Listadmins
review any non-spam post to verify that it meets the four simple rules
on http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/jobs . Postings that fall
short of compliance but seem worthy of explanation get a manually
written reject notice like 'Advertised jobs must be within 75 miles of
San Jose, see http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/jobs' or 'No
job-seeker inquiries, only jobs offered, see
http://lists.svlug.org/lists/listinfo/jobs' . Spam/scam/malware mail gets
no action and expires out authomatically.
2 of 3: svlug-announce, an announce-only forum. Again, all subscribers
get the moderated flag at subscription and it's never cleared, but the
intent is slightly different. The intent here is to permit only very
infrequent posts by SVLUG volunteers to announce upcoming SVLUG
meetings, and to disallow all other traffic -- so that people seeking
SVLUG official announcements only and zero chatter can benefit. After
an SVLUG volunteers sends a post, a listadmin approves it in the admin
queue. Usually, these are the same person. A listadmin could clear
his/her own 'moderated' flag to streamline the process, but this runs
the risk that you might accidentally reply to someone who CC'd
svlug-announce on a talk thread and see to your embarrassment your
off-topic post sail right through without listadmin vetting. (I've done
this, and then I re-set my own 'moderated' flag so I wouldn't
accidentally do it twice.) Again, inppropriate mail, typically
spam/scam/malware mail, is simply ignored and expires out automatically.
If a listadmin is feeling generous, he/she might manually reject a post
by a subscriber who group-replied to a meeting announcement, saying
'svlug-announce is for meeting announcements only. Try the svlug list
3 of 3: conspire, CABAL's regular discussion mailing list. Normally,
zero subscribers get the moderated flag at subscription, and almost
never get slapped with it thereafter. Only severe misbehaviour earns
it, and I follow a policy of giving the nutcase in question a
pre-specified timeout, typically two weeks, with an e-mail to advise
that he/she will have adult supervision for two weeks, and another to
advise that he/she is now out of the doghouse. Spam/scam/malware mail
gets no action and expires out authomatically.
For each mailing list, Mailman sends listadmins a useful daily summary
of the current admin queue contents, stating sender and Subject header.
After you've been a listadmin for about a day, you can speed-read that
mail and tell to 99.99% that the queue had only Spam/scam/malware mail
and you needn't bother to look closer.
 I'm discussing GNU Mailman rather than Google Groups for the simple
reason that I don't administer any of the latter. But I'd be surprised
if the latter are substantially different.
 Mailman's default setting is zero days, meaning hold mail in queue
indefinitely until its fate is decided by a listadmin. This is a
particularly bad default, and IMO should always be overriden.
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