Re: List pollution (Dan Ellis )

Subject: Re: List pollution
From:    Dan Ellis  <dpwe(at)MEDIA.MIT.EDU>
Date:    Mon, 19 Sep 1994 14:57:08 EDT

Al - I share your anger at the pollution of our email list. And I did think Malcolm's reply was lovely! In this case, however, it appears that the individual used some very large list of all email addresses known to some bitnet host... I feel quite sure that Malcolm's will have been *by far* the least offensive reply he got, and that, probably, even every AUDITORY member sending ten replies will only have a marginal effect on the amount of hate mail received by this individual. I doubt that he still has an active email account... I think there's a problem with genuine cluelessness; people just don't have the imagination to understand the impact of their attempts at advertising. There's a danger of escalating the conflict (as the recent Canter & Seigel episode highlights) ... It's a tough judgement to decide how culpable someone is in this kind of antisocial act. If they really didn't know better, they should have a second chance (internet liberalism). If they persist, well, it's better to try and get their net access removed. Retributional attacks (such as flooding their site with messages) might have collateral victims; there is already far too much wasted net bandwidth. If this kind of thing becomes a more significant nuisance, we can simply configure the list so that each message is filtered through a moderator - with the understanding that this moderation is only to remove unsolicited mail. Given current levels of traffic on the list, this would hardly be a great burden. We could do this now if you think the situation already warrants it. Let's see how things develop. DAn.

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DAn Ellis <>
Electrical Engineering Dept., Columbia University