Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1998)

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Subject: Re: Prevalence of mailing-list bombing
From: Norbert Bollow <bollow @ math . ethz . ch>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 11:03:03 +0200
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <32473 . 893872726 @ monkeys . com> (rfg @ monkeys . com)
Prefer-language: de, en, fr

Ronald F. Guilmette <rfg @
 monkeys .
 com> wrote:

> However when several of the list participatants (with whom the admin has a
> longstanding and pre-existing relationship) are encouraged to write to the
> list admin, asking him/her why he/she is such a bozo to have allowed that
> Guilmette crank to have gotten zubscribed against his will, _then_ results
> are produced and changes in configuration ensue.

To everyone:
  Please, everyone take in consideration that Ron was mailbombed
three times by means of mass mailing-list forge-zubscribes (and this
is the most nasty kind of mailbombing by far) *because* he fights a
good battle against spam, from which all responsible netizens are

To Ronald F. Guilmette:

  Surely I understand your anger. But I still think you're overreacting
a bit. I think that instead of posting four-letter words, you should make
a post in polite yet very clear language which says essentially the same
things, and in addition recommends a consultant who is willing to assist
clueless list-admins with setting up their lists properly, for a fee of

> I often wonder that exact thing.  I especially wonder about it
> each time some lout of a list admin allows me to be
> forge-zubscribed to a non-confirming mailing list he/she is
> running.

Hmm... is there a standards-track RFC yet which specifies that all
public mailing lists MUST use a zubscription procedure which is
strictly *opt-in* and properly secured against forge-zubscribes?

> The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

My point exactly... you'll be better off being a squeaky wheel than
by being a wheel which shouts insults.

> It takes _both_ a net-hooligan _and_ an incompentent/careless list admin
> to create one of these forged zubscriptions.  Remove either one from the
> equation and these things no longer happen.

True... but many of the most valuable lists on the internet are run by
people who are not knowledgeable about the technical aspects of proper
mailing-list set-up. These people are competent in other areas and they
deserve our respect for their work in areas where they're competent. I've
been on the net long enough to know better than to be surprised or angered
by the occasional flame war, but I am still convinced not only that there
is a better way but also that is plain wrong to classify anyone as
"incompetent". (Exception: If you're the boss or employer of that person,
then you have the right to judge.)

BTW, I'm sure it would be possible to design an e-mail filter that will
automatically post a properly-worded message to any e-mail list to which
you get forge-zubscribed.

May blessings from the eternal God surprise and overtake you!

Norbert Bollow, Zuerich, Switzerland     Backup E-mail address: NB @

Indexed By Date Previous: RE: Prevalence of mailing-list bombing
From: "Andy Finkenstadt" <andyf @ simutronics . com>
Next: Re: NEW: List-digest - for list owners
From: "Ronald F. Guilmette" <rfg @ monkeys . com>
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