[offtopic] Re: Recent spam surge...

Jim web web at audiomisc.co.uk
Thu Apr 9 02:16:42 PDT 2015

In article <4d1f0594-7061-4bb7-bbae-6547f9a084b4 at email.android.com>,
Ward <simon+infradead at bleah.co.uk> wrote:

> On 8 April 2015 21:50:01 BST, Alan Milewczyk <alan at soulman1949.com>
> wrote:

> >>> I've been a member of quite a few lists over my 20+ years on the net
> >>> and all lists I've ever been on required you to be a member to be
> >>> able
> >to
> >>> post to it.
> >> Are these the lists of the cabals, the elite and the brotherhoods? ;)
> >Uh? I take it that's an attempt at humour?

> In my experience most of these lists have been for "closed" groups, or
> those that have some issue with outsiders, hence the snarky remark.

Well, my experience is also that almost all the email lists I use do
require the posters to register and be approved as a block against
spamming, etc. None of them are what I'd regard as fitting your "sarky"
description. They mostly relate to topics like engineering, computing, or
other similar subjects.

> > Anyway, I see no problem with requiring posters to be members.

> I do. As someone else said it lowers the barrier to entry, and this is
> largely a support list. Why should everyone who ever uses get_iplayer,
> which is free software, be required to subscribe to the list just to ask
> a question?

To cut down on the chance of being spammed or having their email address
and interests logged by others who may be akin to the types about which you
made "sarky" comments, perhaps. Or even because companies may be trawling
for such data to sell on to companies. And so on.

The idea that having to register is a "deterrent" has to be placed against
it also being a "deterrent" to realise that you are providing a spamming
mechanism and that any postings may attract unwanted irrelevant or
malicious emails, or give personal info out freely. I certainly have
avoided posting here as often as I might if the list required registration
and also had no web scrape weakness. Of course, you may think that a good
outcome... ;->

> I know one retort for that, but I consider it off-putting to
> users and harmful to a community, which is "if you want help from us you
> must join in and participate and give back". That can be intimidating
> and unwelcoming for the uninitiated, regardless of its benign intention.

Yes, *whatever* you do, some will regard it as a "deterrent". It cuts both
ways so really isn't an argument for either side.

As an example of the current "deterrent" effect: I was trying to decide
yesterday if I should post here to let people know I've recently put up a
webpage at
which may be of some interest to get_iplayer users and perhaps its

I've no idea if people are happy with the above being mentioned. But until
I decided to comment anyway on the 'OT' matter I wasn't going to bother
*because the exposed nature of this list does make me want to post as
infrequently as possible*.

Consider the point that people who are "deterred" by the existing setup may
never appear here to say so for a self-defining reason. :-)

Personally I dislike the way this list is set up. But I accept that its a
matter for the person(s) who set up and run it. And so just use it when my
reasons for doing so outweigh my wish to minimise spam and avoid allowing
unknown third parties to gather info on my activities and interests from
postings here.

If the scraping is being done 'per new posting' I guess I'll now get
another spam or two. But I hope some people here think my pointing out the
above page is a useful contribution. I plan to write more about the innards
and history of iplayer in due course.


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