Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: Prevalence of mailing-list bombing
From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:25:35 -0700
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Your message of Wed, 29 Apr 1998 20:29:49 +0100. <199804292029 . claire . 98047419 @ siberia . demon . co . uk>

In message <199804292029 .
 claire .
 98047419 @
 siberia .
 demon .
 co .
Claire @
 siberia .
 demon .
 co .
 uk wrote:

>On 29 Apr 98 at 10:58, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
>> >It's targetting the wromg people, and it doesn't help.
>> Wrong on both counts.
>> The list participants (and their opinions) tend to have an effect
>> upon the behavior of the list admin.
>Ron, do  you really reckon that the best way to encourage them to
>have an effect is to pour out 4-letter words, as you claim to do?


>Have you ever tried asking nicely?

Yup.  Several times.  It doesn't work.

>The *only* persons with you have a legitimate grievance are the 
>listbomber and the list admin.  Flaming the list members is the same
>morality as hostage-taking -- possibly effective, but deeply

The analogy is a poor one.

I prefer to think of it as being more like striping the list admin naked,
painting the word `STUPID' in big red letter acroos his buttocks, and then
making him stand backwards in front of his own family for an hour.

>The list members don't choose the MLM software, and don't configure
>it: please leave them out of it.    If you want to try agressive
>tactics (and yours breach the AUP of many ISPs),

Every mailing list administrators on the entire Internet who is running a
mailing list without any subscription confirmations is breaking _my_ AUP.

Them's *my* rules!

>Saying that people don't get hurt is not true :(   Someone like you 
>was subbed to a support list which I run.

So you allow forged subscriptions with no confirmations??

If so, then you are blowing it bigtime.

>His abusive rants were 
>very upsetting to some ppl who were in a fragile state.

Yes.  I can see how that might be true.

You should not be exposing people in a fragil state to other people who are
likely to be very annoyed at having been forge-subscribed onto your list.

>I count that 
>as *real* hurt, especially since I've seen a good few ppl on support 
>lists being rescued from suicide attempts by the prompt support of 
>other listmembers -- which was available because the list is a safe, 
>flame-free space, something that's imperilled by a flamer.    Just 
>because the door isn't properly locked, there's no excuse for 
>wilfully destroying that.

I don't make exceptions.

I suggest that you get off your ass and secure your list.  If you don't,
and if _I_ get forge-subscribed onto your list, you and your members will
get my standard treatment.

You *know* what you have to do in order to lock down your list properly,
so if you fail to do it, then let the consequences be on *your* head.

>> I have tried to get _many_ list admins to add some trivial security
>> to the subscription process for their lists via personal E-mail
>> messages just between me and them, and in general I have found
>> that they feel that have better things to do with their time
>> (e.g. playing golf).  I attribute this to the fact that (a) they
>> don't know me from Adam and (b) they don't really give a rat's
>> ass about how _I_ think they should configure their lists.
>If you are as rude as you claim to be, I'm not entirely surprised :(
>I quite agree on the need for subscription confirmation, but honey
>generally catches more flies than vinegar.

What am I supposed to do exactly??  Find every idiot list admin on the
planet and promise to pay each one a bribe if they will just get off
their asses and start doing their jobs in a responsible fashion??

>And do remember that for
>many list admins, they have a stark choice between no list and one
>without subscription confirmation.

Works for me.

If you (or anyone) can't run a list in a way that isn't abusive (or poten-
tially abusive) to _all_ of your millions of fellow netizens all over the
globe, then please get yourself a radio call-in show instead, or do *some-
thing*, anything else, but please don't remain on the same network as me.

The world existed for untold millenia _before_ you and your mailing list
came along, and it will probably manage to survive somehow even after your
list disappears (or morphs into a radio call-in show).

Even if you really do not want your list to disappear, if _you_ can't ad-
minister it properly (and in a non abusive way) then please consider stepping
aside and letting someone more well-clued have a whack at it.

(This isn't directed at you in particular.  My comments here are meant to
apply equally to _all_ list admins.)

>I was in that situation myself: I
>didn't like it, but no amount of abuse from anyone would change the

Translation:  I knew I was running a badly configured and potentially abusive
mailing list, but to hell with everbody else on the planet.  Me and my needs
come first.

Have you ever considered taking up spamming?  You already have the ethical
mindset for it.  Now all you need is some spamware and a target address list
or two.

>So target the list *admin* if you really want to go about it that 
>way.  But leave the list members out of it.

Sorry.  No can do.

The net is a single large lifeboat.  As far as I'm concerned, we are all
gonna learn how to be non-annoying or else we are all going to be annoyed.
We all sink or swim together, and nobody can just stand on the sidelines
and claim that they don't want to be involved.  If you are on the net, then
by definition you _are_ involved, and it is as much your responsibility to
pickup the net-litter as it is the next guy's.  If you are on a mailing
list and if you are benefitting from that, then it is as much your responsi-
bility to tell the list admin not to behave stupidly as it is anyone else's.

-- Ron Guilmette, Roseville, California ---------- E-Scrub Technologies, Inc.
-- Deadbolt(tm) Personal E-Mail Filter demo:
-- Wpoison (web harvester poisoning) - demo:

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