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Re: Moderating input

From: Glenn Morris
Subject: Re: Moderating input
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 20:10:10 -0500

Bob Proulx wrote (on Sat, 11 Dec 2010 at 17:04 -0700):

> But in theory listhelper-moderator goes to a list of humans and so
> would be most approriate for listing as the administrator.  The
> listhelper address goes to the software robot running spamassassin and
> cross-assassin and other custom rules and is the right address to use
> in the moderator field.

I see.

> 1) You don't need to use it.  Use is voluntary but most find it
> beneficial.  Didn't you (or someone else) raise just this same point a
> while back and decide not to use listhelper originally?

No, we certainly didn't decide not to use it. I was hoping if I
mentioned it obliquely enough times, someone would tell me to use it,
and how to make it work. But then I decided to just ask directly. :)

> 2) Does your spamassassin benefit from seeing all of the other spam to
> the other mailing lists?  I think the cross-assassin feature
> at the list would still be beneficial in addition to the added Bayes
> engine learning from spam from the other lists. 

No, it does not do this, so this would indeed be a useful addition.

> And particularly annoying waves of spam I add custom rules too but I
> admit to those being on a best-effort basis only.

I do the same on :)

> The help-debbugs mailing list is one of the thousand mailing lists at
> and is handled by the listhelper team.  Happy to have you
> onboard for that mailing list too.  Many hands make light work.  But
> strictly speaking it wasn't necessary since Karl, Oleg, and myself
> already process it as just one of the many mailing
> lists.  Spam is discarded mostly by the robot.  The human team
> approves valid messages whitelists their authors for future messages.

I know help-debbugs is the tiniest possible fraction of the total
work, I was just using it as an example to try to figure out how the
system works, because it is the list I have personal experience of.

> So that part concerning handling messages is rather outside of whether
> the admin address is to the listhelpers or not.  But unmaintained
> mailing lists have been getting the listhelper-moderate address by
> default by us so that users who send to the list owner using the
> mailinglist-owner address will be able to reach a human to help them
> with their problem.  Mostly that is subscription and unsubscription
> help. 

There is something that I was going to put in my original mail, but
did not, because I did not want to cause confusion. But I should have
mentioned it:

debbugs-submit is not a real mailing list. No-one subscribes to it,
no-one should ever need to contact the admin of that list, no-one
should even ever need to know the list exists. So the admin address
(which has a real person attached to it at present) should not get any
mail, apart from the moderation emails.

It only exists because behind the scenes Mailman is used to moderate
input to The full details:

addresses like "bug-automake at" have an exim rule that
redirects any mail that did not come from to
address@hidden This is how mail gets into the bug tracker. The
tracker then resends mail out to the bug address again, which this
time allows it through to the mailing list.

So the standard eg bug-automake moderation only takes affect *after*
mails have been through This is too late, since spam
will already have created bug reports by then, which have to be
deleted from the database.

So the moderation step was shifted to a "debbugs-submit" mailing list
running on Anyone who sends mail to bug-automake, or
coreutils, or emacs, actually gets moderated via the debbugs-submit
list. They don't need to know this.

So currently debbugs-submit = bug-coreutils + bug-automake + bug-gnu-emacs

(and maybe more in future).

BTW, because no-one subscribes to the list, I always choose "approve
future postings" the first time someone posts a valid bug report.

> Put address@hidden in as the administrator.
> (Karl prefers the DELETEME since this contact address doesn't have a
> hold queue for spam deletion.  We see and must ignore a lot of spam to
> those listname-OWNER addresses.  Eventually Karl was annoyed enough by
> it to make that change.)  Put address@hidden in as moderator.

In light of other messages, I won't do this for now until it gets

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