Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1997)

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Subject: Re: Dealing with problem subscribers
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 23:36:25 -0700
To: murr rhame <murr @ vnet . net>, List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <Pine . SUN . 3 . 95 . 970415181625 . 6542A-100000 @ katie . vnet . net>
References: <v0300782caf79ac887f88 @ [131 . 218 . 204 . 98]>

At 3:41 PM -0700 4/15/97, murr rhame wrote:

>I agree with Vince with regards to obnoxious subscribers.  It only takes a
>few idiots to kill a good mailing list.  The listowner is providing the
>facilities.  The listowner can establish the rules of the forum.

It helps to have rules you can point at, so the "we didn't know" and
"you're making this up as you go along" fall by the wayside.

Look at it as a strict reality check: do you want to be part of a list
that is (a) run by a couple of yahoos you hate, or (b) full of people
you enjoy talking to?

The failure to kick an idiot user off can cost you many other users,
who give up and leave. Once they're gone, they're gone. so what's best
for the list? Triage in removing one bad user? Or letting them exercise
their "rights" and lose all of those other ones? Most folks who
complain about the "censorship" of the one never think about the many.

IMHO, if a list is shrinking in size, it has a problem. Most users of
lists vote with their butts and legs. If they like it, they sit on
their butt and read it. If they don't, they stand up and walk. When
users start walking, it's a sign it's time to fix whatever's wrong,
because something is.

Try to be consistent, but over the last couple of years, I've gone from
working my butt off trying to "save" or "rehabilitate" users, giving
chances, etc, etc, etc, to basically using the "shoot them all, let god
sort them out" idea -- People get warnings, but if they don't shape up,
they ship out. And if they come in and act like real jackasses, they
ship out and THEN we ask questions about why, to preserve the list for
real material. If it's an honest mistake, great. I let them back in. If
they start screaming evne louder, it's evidence that cutting access was
right... I'm always open to a reasonable discussion. I so rarely get

         Chuq Von Rospach (chuq @
 apple .
 com) Apple IS&T Mail List Gnome

 Plaidworks Consulting (chuqui @
 plaidworks .
 com) <>
   (<> +-+ The home for Hockey on the net)

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