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From Rob Weir <robw...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Are there any legal repercussions for banning users from mailing lists?
Date Mon, 20 Jan 2014 22:07:27 GMT
On Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM, Mark Thomas <markt@apache.org> wrote:
> On 20/01/2014 16:27, Rob Weir wrote:
>
>> Any thoughts on this?  Is there any risk to the ASF or our volunteers
>> in moderating mailing lists or banning disruptive users?
>
> If this were any other project, I'd suggest replying to one of their
> mails along the lines of:
>
> "With my moderator hat on I'd ban this idiot but while they are largely
> clueless they do appear to have enough of a clue to be able just
> re-subscribe with a new e-mail address. That makes banning fairly
> pointless. I suggest you do one of:
> - add this idiot to your spam filter
> - filter them to /dev/null with procmailrc (my favourite)
> - etc"
>
> However, this is OpenOffice and I suspect many of the list subscribers
> do not have the knowledge and/or confidence necessary to deal with this
> themselves.
>

Right.  That approach might work on our dev list.   But our users
mailing list is a bit different. A single bad actor can easily
generate a cascade of responses, followed by the follow-on cascade of
"how do I unsubscribe?" and even the "why am I receiving these notes?"
posts.

> I suggest the moderators come up with a standard "Do not feed the
> trolls" reply - or better yet a page on your wiki you can link to and
> every time this user or anyone else starts trolling one of the list
> moderators simply replies with:
>
> "We recognise that this mail is offensive. Please do not give in to
> temptation and reply to it. For more information about how this project
> handles such mails and why simply banning subscribers doesn't work see
> <link to wiki> ."
>
> I would hope that after a while if their threads are ignored then the
> troll will simply go away.
>

That might work on a list if everyone but one subscriber was mature,
sane and experienced.  But, of course, we have a mix.  The level 10
idiot tends to bring out the worst in the level 9 idiots who bring out
the worst in the level 7 idiots.  And then I come in at level 6 ;-)

In any case, thanks for your thoughts.  I've forwarded the more
specific legal question to legal-internal, which I'm told is the more
appropriate place.

Regards,

-Rob

> Mark
>
>
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