advocacy/89731: TOO MANY SPAMs on's mailing list

John Baldwin jhb at
Wed Nov 30 15:50:02 GMT 2005

On Wednesday 30 November 2005 09:20 am, Takeo Hashimoto wrote:
> Thanks following up.
> On Wednesday 30 November 2005 22:11 JST, jhb at wrote
> >On Wednesday 30 November 2005 01:07 am, Takeo Hashimoto wrote:
> >> Currently every subscriber has to spend their time
> >> wading through the spam to pick up the ones which are not spam.
> >> (Of course it is dissipation of resources.)
> >
> >Yes, I use spamassassin personally.  Also, I should note that
> >'s mail server employs some aggressive spam filtering which
> > stops a lot of it from showing up on FreeBSD lists.  Perhaps the jp folks
> > could setup some spam filtering on their mail server as well to cut down
> > on the load.  Note that only a couple of lists are
> > restrict_post, most are open.
> lists may be greater than jp's, but you said to me:
> >                                     Also, I should note that
> >'s mail server employs some aggressive spam filtering which
> > stops a lot of it from showing up on FreeBSD lists.
> it is very good. I'm very grad to hear that.
> we all want to hear same explanation from jp admins.
> There is no transparency on,
> so we feel no democracy and admins dogma.

Yes, but with volunteer projects you as a user can't just go mandate that the 
people doing the work go spend their time doing X.  FreeBSD isn't that much 
of a democracy either.  Granted, core members are elected, but only by 
developers, not by users.  This is something of a common theme in the Open 
Source world in that the people who do the work get to make decisions. also has very little oversight of, those entities 
are fairly autonomous.  Have you tried talking to the admins 
directly?  Have you volunteered to help out with doing some of the work if 
so?  If you can't get them to be responsive, then you can also take action by 
setting up your own mailing lists with the policies that you wish to use.  If 
users end up preferring your lists then at some point your list may supersede 
the current list at

> >> >                            This means that someone new to FreeBSD
> >> > will likely have their questions lost because the e-mail will never
> >> > make it to the list (e.g. freebsd-questions) and would make it that
> >> > much harder for new people to get help getting started with FreeBSD.
> >>
> >> It is not difficult to subscribe ML
> >> even if they are new to FreeBSD.
> >
> >I think you overestimate the skill of some newbies.
> I don't think so, they do search first on the web before posting mail.
> and that is my 1st point.

Heh, if you've ever been on an IRC help channel you'll know that a lot don't 
search the web first. :)  They just look for an IRC channel, mailing list, or 
newsgroup where they can post their question.

> >                                                     The other problem is
> > that some ML, like questions@, get a large number of e-mails a day.  I'm
> > not sure it's fair to require a user to wade through a hundred or more
> > non-spams just so they can ask a question.
> If user posts some questions to the list,
> then he might get some answer, and also much hard spam?
> unfortunately it is true at jp.FreeBSD lists.
> I think the policy "restrict_post" will save him (and also us).
> but you don't think so. mmm...

I think that he will still get spam even if the list is restrict_post.  He may 
not get spam that is sent to the list address directly, but now his e-mail is 
mirrorred in a bunch of places all over the net and easily harvested by 
spammers, thus by posting a question he is already going to be subject to a 
flood of spam directly to his personal address.  Thus, regardless of 
restrict_post the user ends up with a lot of spam in his inbox one way or 

> I think we are same on this point:
>   "how to make it easy for new people to get started with FreeBSD?"
> but the conclusion is different.  You say "open the door (with gatekeeper)"
> I say "close the door until you examine the newcomer is a human".
> I think that it is policy problem, so jp admins need to have public
> hearing. Will this PR cause their action? I hope.

Well, I'm not sure any of the jp guys are reading this exchange, so I don't 
know if it will result in any action or not.  The PR database really isn't 
suited well for this type of request either.  If you haven't talked to the jp 
folks directly, then you should do that first (but not the caveats I 
mentioned earlier).  If you have talked to the jp folks and are unhappy with 
their response, you can try to bring the issue to core at .  However, if you are 
unable to convince the jp admins to make a change, your best bet may be to 
work on setting up your own alternative list.

> >have concluded that the spam problem is so large and extent, that the only
> >real solution is for the receiver to block spam.
> well, we have to write easy-setup-guide of spam-filter
> for beginners, and have to shout to them
> "Wait! set up your filter before you post!"

Unfortunately spam is a problem that people will have regardless of whether 
they run FreeBSD.  Many use ISPs that already block a lot of spam for them 
which is some help.

John Baldwin <jhb at>  <><
"Power Users Use the Power to Serve"  =

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