Re: The deluge - a TERRIBLE solution and a REAL solution

David Schlussel (
Wed, 17 Apr 1996 23:32:35 -0400 (EDT)

the end if you want to skip my explanation of why the original is a bad

put yourselves in the position of the poor underappreciated sysadmins of
the world. why should he or she get a DELUGE of messages just because
some random MORON they probably never met cannot reverse the mechanisms
they used to get on the list to get themselves back off.

instead of sending it to root, send it to the user who sent the message.
they'll get the hint just as fast. and don't even give them instructions.
make 'em wait a week for the unsubscribe messages. tell them to find them
on the web from the home page.

for a while, i was responding to each unsubscribe message with the
question "why don't you know how to get off this list? didn't you get
the instructions? didn't you subscribe to the list?" i didn't get many
responses, even when i followed up. a few people said they saw the
unsubscribe messages and just altered them and sent them in, thinking the
other person knew what they were doing.

here's a REAL solution: check the list instructions (as an excercise) for
how to get your cu-seeme mail in digest form. you just get one message a
day beginning with a list of message subjects and their authors, then all
the messages concatenated together. its much easier to browse through
that way. the unsubscribe messages just look funny (ha ha) when you see a
whole bunch of them in a row in the subject section.

have a nice day


+ David Schlussel +
+ +
+ Medical Center Information Tech - Special Projects +
> Date: Mon, 15 Apr 1996 23:09:02 -0700
> From: (elliot smith)
> To:
> Subject: The deluge - a solution
> Message-ID: <v01540b01ad98de6e1a75@[]>
> You've got me going now, Jay! :-)
> The solution:
> A) Filters are an okay idea, but not a complete solution (I still have to
> download the e-mails) and not an option for me (I fear new software :-)
> B) Everytime you do get an UNSUB message, FORWARD IT TO THE ROOT OF THE
> USER. I.E. if I, say,, were to send an annoying message
> to the list, the established procedure is that my message be forwarded to
> my root, i.e. This serves the purpose of alerting the root
> that they have a destructive user on their hands. You may think it
> insignificant, but when a root gets lots of e-mails vis-a-vis a particular
> user, the root gets annoyed and terminates that user's account. Roots
> would quickly start taking responsability for educating their users on
> basic 'netiquette, and this problem would all but cease. If a user
> accidentially sent an UNSUB e-mail to the list at large, as I've myself
> have done, they'd get a warning from their root and next time they would be
> more resourceful, like investigating the concept of listserv...It's the
> Internet - it's chock full of information, people can manage! I know it's
> an inconvienience for people to actually save those unsubscribe
> instructions, but for the good of us all, I think we should encourage it.
> Let's set an example for the rest of the e-mail lists. Maybe it will catch
> on.
> C) Everywhere, like on the web, where there are subscribe instructions
> posted, we should insist that there be posted very clearly 1) The volume of
> this list is high, and 2) Under no circumstances is a person to send a
> listserve e-mail to the list at large.
> Deluge is the word for it. I don't know for sure, but I think the reason
> this list is plauged by this problem is because it's a hot topic. People
> subscribe, and then panic when their mailbox fills up. (My god, why do
> they even allow AOL users to subscribe? As if you can do CU-SEEME on
> AOL...) And there are more clueless users on the Internet every day. A
> 2400 baud modem and an AOL disk gives a person a license to screw up the
> internet!
> Meanwhile, as long as I'm on this list I'll continue to send a polite
> explanation to all those who ask to be removed from the list, so unless
> someone takes it upon themselves to send 50 UNSUB messages in a row, you
> may safely ignore such requests secure in the knowledge that these people
> will eventually (withing 24 hours) receive the instructions they need.
> -Elliot
> ////// \\\\\\
> PGP puplic key:
> (||||| How do you explain school to a higher intelligence? |||||)
> \\\\\\ -- Elliot, in the movie "E.T." //////