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[filmscanners] Re: spam magnet

Tony, let me preface my remarks with one that I think is important: I
greatly appreciate all you have done with this list to bring together
such a wonderful resource. If I have caused you grief or upset I am
truly sorry.

> On 02/04/2008 halftone@troutcom.com wrote:
> > Your implication is that I am relying on others (including you) to
> > do stuff for me to avoid spam, while in fact you are doing stuff
> > that *exposes* me to spam. I am doing my bit by having multiple
> > addresses and abandoning those that have been outed -- which happens
> > about once every 18 months.
> You were asking me to curtail the usefulness of this list to limit
> your exposure to spam, by suppressing sender addresses.

I think we are having an unecessary argument -- Say the list itself
did not expose the actual email addresses, but those people who are
comfortable having their addresses exposed can include them in their
postings. That way those who are comfortable in encouraging rising
levels of spam while broadcasting their addresses to the world can do
so, and those who are willing to accept the confines of only posting
on the list have that opportunity as well. To the claim that it would
be bothersome for each member to include his/her email address, I
suspect that they would only do so when they have a question that
they would prefer be answered off-list.

> There couldn't be any mailing lists unless they were publically
> exposed addresses. There couldn't be any support ditto. For some of us
> email is mission-critical and we can't avoid having a public address
> that stays constant. That means the common preferred solution is spam
> filtering.

Funny, I belong to a number of lists, most of them professional
(statistics and engineering). Yes, the email address of the lists
themselves is exposed, but not of the participants.

> Email RFC's require a postmaster catch-all address for any domain.
> Whoever runs that account is going to receive spam. Domains cannot be
> invisible. That too means the common preferred solution is spam
> filtering.

Of course you are right for that one address per domain, but that
vastly reduces the number of addresses available to spammers, which
in turn vastly reduces the number of spam messages flying about the

> Your approach may work for you, but you're still having to take
> inonvenient evasive action against spammers and accept a reduction in
> the utility of email because of their predatory selfishness. I hope we
> can agree that spammers are the underlying problem here.

Of course spammers are the underlying problem! The issue is what
evasive action we are to take to best deal with them. Spam filters
are inconvenient as is flying under the spammer's radar. Each reduces
the utility of email, but in different ways. The reason I choose to
fly under the radar is that it serves the *common* good of reducing
email traffic.

> > Now that I know posting to the filmscanners list will expose my
> > email address, I'll take care to never post.
> Yes, that should work, in the same way that never answering the
> telephone will completely avoid annoying sales calls.

CallerID works fine for the phone, but you are correct that that is
really a spam filter. As for other phone spam, I am on the national
"do not call" list -- it works pretty well too. Unfortunately there
is no workable "do not spam" list....

> For those of us who have to expose email addresses to the world, spam
> *is* inevitable. The list itself receives on average 3 attempts a day
> to *distribute* spam to its 1,200 members, because the address is
> known to spammers. That is *filtered* out by multiple levels of email
> filtering and subscription control that also prevents viruses being
> distributed. If I didn't maintain filters you'd get that crap even if
> your email address was unpublished in list mails.

And we are all very appreciative of your fine work. Thank you!!

> There is nothing wrong with your approach but it can only work for a
> minority of people who can burn email accounts as they become
> unusable.

The assumption you are making is that a person has only one email
address, so when it attracts spam they have to notify everyone of
their new address. The alternative is to have multiple addresses,
which vastly reduces the upset and inconvenience when one gets onto
spammers' lists. The reason I could trace the problem to this board
is that the "halftone" address is used *only* here. Now that it has
been outed the only entity I need to inform of my new address is the
filmscanners mail daemon.

Most ISPs provide an account with multiple email addresses, so why
not make good use of them?

Thank you again for your help and general good humor while struggling
with the beasts of operating systems, mailers, spammers, and the
occasional snipey list participant, none of which are central to your
life, work, family, or recreation.

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