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Pre-screening of Subscribers

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  • Michael Grondin
    Over the last several months, contributors (including myself) have occasionally had the annoying and confusing experience of having their messages to the list
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 7 9:44 PM
      Over the last several months, contributors (including myself) have
      occasionally had the annoying and confusing experience of having their
      messages to the list be met with cryptic automated responses from unknown
      servers. I've tracked these down one-by-one and in each case the cause has
      been that a spam address had gotten into our subscriber list. Unfortunately,
      some unscrupulous vendors of email addresses have evidently managed to
      inflate their "counts" by mining various yahoogroups corporate addresses,
      including notably gthomas-subscribe and gthomas-owner. CD's with these
      addresses have then been sold to even more unscrupulous spammers, with the
      result that spam is now being continuously sent to yahoogroups corporate
      addresses. Most of this is screened out, but in some cases, the address of a
      spammer has gotten into our subscriber database, so that a contributor's
      subsequent note goes to that address along with all the others, sometimes
      resulting in an automated response from the spammer's former server (the
      spammer himself usually quickly having been removed from that server).
      Because of this continuing (and probably increasing) problem for
      contributors, we've had to initiate a policy of pre-screening prospective
      subscribers. Instead of being immediately honored without human
      intervention, a request for subscription is now put into a pending file, and
      notice is sent to the moderators. I then send a message to the prospective
      subscriber, asking for a reply to verify the subscription request. When a
      legitimate reply comes in, I approve the request. So far, this new procedure
      has worked well; four requests have come in in the last several days since
      the policy was initiated, and all four have been legitimate requestors who
      replied to my note and were approved. It's unfortunate that we've had to do
      this, but I think that the inconvenience to both moderators and prospective
      subscribers is well worth it to guarantee that our subscriber base includes
      only real list-members. Certainly, the time spent on this task is far less
      than that previously spent tracking down these problems after they occurred.
      (BTW, no list-member addresses have been compromised - only group
      addresses.)

      Mike Grondin
      The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying
      http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/sayings.htm
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