Fwd: Top 15 Mailinglists with messages in moderation

Ben Cooksley bcooksley at kde.org
Sat Dec 3 17:41:49 UTC 2016

On Sun, Dec 4, 2016 at 1:43 AM, Martin Gräßlin <mgraesslin at kde.org> wrote:
> Am 2016-12-03 12:47, schrieb Myriam Schweingruber:
>> Hi Martin,
>> On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 11:59 AM, Martin Gräßlin <mgraesslin at kde.org>
>> wrote:
>>> Am 2016-12-02 19:26, schrieb Ben Cooksley:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> It's that time of month again.
>>>> If you're the moderator for one of the below lists, please
>>>> moderate it's queue.
>>>> 20 kwin
>>> It's all spam and I'm not logging in to delete spam. I go into the
>>> list if there is a real mail which needs to be moderated. Then I
>>> drop the spam.
>>> It would be nice if we could get the spam mails not in the
>>> moderation queue in the first place. Would mean much less work for
>>> the moderators.
>> Well, deleting spam is also list moderator work in my book, so if you
>> need help on that one, just ask. As said before, I can help since I do
>> this anyway on several lists. I doubt there is a way to drop spam
>> automatically and only keep legit mails in moderation queue with
>> mailman.
> The problem is not moderating the list. The problem is that I get a stupid
> useless mail every day I have to look at about pending moderations and a
> stupid mail I have to human look at when a spam mail gets in.
> Note here: I get too many mails overall and the moderation queue mails are
> annoying as it's in 99.9 % useless junk which I have to manually look at.
> Thanks for offering to help moderating the list, but that doesn't get my
> inbox cleaner. And that's what I care about. I don't care about how many
> spam mails are in the moderation queue, I care about the useless mail I get
> which I have to look at.
> Given that I think a mail which is marked by spamassassin as spam and shown
> as spam in the moderation queue, should not be going into the moderation
> queue in the first place. If someone sends a mail to the kwin list which
> looks like spam to spamassassin it won't be something useful from
> development perspective.

Our filters assign three designations to emails that come in, based on
the score generated by SpamAssassin:

1) Ham
2) Potential Spam
3) Definite Spam

Anything which gets labelled as Definite Spam is rejected at SMTP
time, for all addresses. Everything else is accepted for delivery.
We get enough complaints from people as it is about the filter being
"too aggressive" so I don't think these thresholds should be adjusted.

Once an email is delivered to Mailman, a handler notes that the email
is Potential Spam and forcibly holds it for moderator attention.
This is to prevent sender address spoofing, which was used a while
back to hammer our lists with crap.
The same handler also auto accepts emails from Reviewboard, Bugzilla
and Jenkins so moderators don't have to.

Ham emails are allowed through to normal Mailman processing, and are
held/rejected/accepted/etc accordingly.
Messages should never be rejected using Mailman, as this results in
backscatter - something which can result in you being blacklisted.

Therefore the behaviour of our systems in this regard is entirely
correct and doing it's best to:

a) Minimize the spam which reaches our mailing lists
b) Maximise our ability to deliver email to our subscribers
c) Minimize loss of legitimate email sent to our lists
d) Keep the work a moderator needs to do to a minimum.

If we were to eliminate potential spam messages as you describe above,
there would be a definite violation of c) here, as false positives do
occur - it's a fact of life when your filter processes 10,000+ emails
a day. This is especially the case for non-English emails - a
behaviour that would disproportionately impact on various translation,
user assistance and region specific discussion lists. This is not an
acceptable change from my point of view.

> Cheers
> Martin

Ben Cooksley
KDE Sysadmin

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