Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1998)

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Subject: Re: AOL changes?
From: dattier @ wwa . com (David W. Tamkin)
Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 13:04:14 -0600 (CST)
To: amys @ amys-answers . com
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <199801231300 . FAA05640 @ honor . greatcircle . com> from "Amy Stinson" at Jan 23, 98 07:51:18 am

Amy Stinson asked,

| Yesterday I had a list member write me and tell me that she had not
| gotten any mail from my list site in over a day (extremely high
| volume list so she *should* have gotten mail).  A scan of members
| showed her on there and receiving mail in index format.  When I
| checked the smtp logs, this message occurred:
| 13:45:35 *** Would have refused mail from <> for <USERID @
 AOL .
| from

Is AOL bouncing them back with "<userid> is not accepting mail from this

AOL's Mail Controls facility, which most of its users don't even know about,
has settings to block individual senders, to refuse all incoming mail, and
to refuse mail from outside AOL.  The second setting tells senders, "<userid>
is not accepting any mail," but the first and the third give the same bounce
message: "not accepting mail from this sender."

A lot of people there take meat-axe advice that blocking all mail from out-
side AOL will prevent all viruses and all spam, so it's the way to go.  They
don't stop to think that it will also cut them off from their mailing list
subscriptions or from those they wish to join.

A complication is that the principal accountholder can set Mail Controls for
subsidiary screen names.  Often Mom or Dad decides that Junior or Princess
must be shielded from the big, bad Internet and puts a block on mail to the
offspring's screen name; then Benevolent Parent (1) says nothing to the
younger generation, leaving it to come as a rude surprise; (2) says something
misleading like, "AOL has a setting to keep people from getting email virus-
es, so I turned it on for all of us;" or (3) explains it properly but the
child does not understand the ramifications.

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