Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1998)

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Subject: Re: Prevalence of mailing-list bombing
From: claire @ siberia . demon . co . uk (Claire McNab)
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 12:29:17 +0100 (BST)
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <7954 . 893888735 @ monkeys . com>
References: Your message of Wed, 29 Apr 1998 20:29:49 +0100. <199804292029 . claire . 98047419 @ siberia . demon . co . uk>
Reply-to: Claire @ siberia . demon . co . uk

On 29 Apr 98 at 15:25, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:

> >> 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?
> Yup.


I guess that reply says a lot.  I've met a few other men with
that sort of attitude (sadly, it's neatly always _men_).   And for
some reason, they always seem to find people "picking on them".   I
wonder why it is that the only person on this list who seems to get 
maliciously subbed to other lists is you?

> 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).

Ron, before that list existed, a lot of ppl in the area that uses this
list used to commit suicide.  They still do.  But in each of the three
cases where ppl came close to the edge when they were on the list,
someone was able to step in promptly: in one case we got someone to
the person when her wrists were already cut.

Sure, the world would go on.  But the graveyards would a wee bit
fuller.  I happen to regard that as a bad thing.

> 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.

I don't like the situation of no confirmation: I know it's open to
abuse, and I want to close it.  So does the site admin.   But the
site admin is constrained in several ways as to which software she
can run, and the available software does not include sub
confirmation.  So far, we have had *one* instance of someone
involuntarily subbed, dealt with promptly (we have 24-hour-a-day
list admins).

That loophole *will* be closed: it just can't be done instantly,
much as I want it to be.  And on other lists I run, where I have
choice of software, sub confirmation is top of the list of
*required* features for the MLM software.

> (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
> >situation.
> Translation:  I knew I was running a badly configured and
> potentially abusive mailing list,

Wrong.  Not a "potentially abusive list" -- rather, one that has a
loophole which leaves it open to abuse by others.   There's an
important difference: this list itself is *not* potentially abusive.

> but to hell with everbody else on
> the planet.  Me and my needs come first.

Nope.  The people for whom we provide the support facility come
first.  If a malicious third party exploits a loophole before we
succeed in closing it, all I ask is that the victim of that abuse
doesn't create more victims.  It's a general principle that works 
well elsewhere in life -- take a peep in any court, and you'll
see the law applying it every day of the week.

> 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.

You're very confused, aren't you Ron?   You can't distinguish between
someone who commits an offence and someone who has not taken every
conceivable step to stop others offending.   We agree entirely
about the importance of subscription confirmation: the difference is
in how we respond to abuse when it occurs.

But frankly, I've had enough.   There was a time when this list
included a lot of coherent discussion, but increasingly the bandwidth
seems to be taken up with lots of folks trying in vain to explain
good manners to someone who doesn't seem to get the basic message
that civility is a two-way street, that problems ain't best resolved
by escalating them to hurt others, and that two wrongs don't make a

Rather than hunt through the chaff for the gems that are still
in there somewhere,  I'm going to save my bandwidth and diskspace,
and unsub for a while.

Best wishes,

Claire McNab -- Claire @
 siberia .
 demon .
 co .

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