David Kristofferson kristoff at
Fri Feb 24 19:28:34 EST 1995

In article <PHIL.95Feb24115552 at>,
Phil Jeffrey <phil at> wrote:
>   This "automoderation" scheme still involves a moderator who 
>   approves/disapproves users (as opposed to posts).  So this method is 
>   not immune from the problems of moderator bias.  Perhaps there should be
>   public notification of a user's removal from posting privelege, as a
>   check against abuse by the moderator.  This will necessarily involve
>   more admin posts polluting BIOSCI space, but it's a step better
>   than users being silently removed from the list, and would allow people
>   to campaign against such a removal if it was unjustified.

I think it would be easier if we simply left some groups such as
bionet.general unmoderated if this issue really worries people.  They
could stage a protest there if needed.  Actually I probably wouldn't
propose to moderate bionet.general anyway even if they weren't
worried.  Some open newsgroups are a good idea.  It's the more
specialized groups that we don't want to get overrun by trivia.

I highly doubt that very many people would be rejected if the
majordomo software ran the registration list.  On the other hand, the
question that I would really like to get feedback on is whether or not
we should have people actually sending a message in to a live person
claiming that they are scientists in order to qualify for posting to
those newsgroups that we do decide to limit to professional traffic
only.  Of course, no one is proposing to do FBI background checks
here.  This would be strictly on the honor system.  The problem with
having the registration list accessible to everyone is that if, e.g.,
the system sends back notices to unregistered users that they must
first register to post complete with instructions, this gives spammers
an easy way to blast us after their first attempt fails.

>>>   On the administrative side, the drawback is that every potential
>>>   poster has to be listed and the address in the listing would have to
>>>   be current.  
>   Disk space is getting cheaper by the day :)  A timeout feature in the
>   list could remove a user from the list if they haven't posted in the 
>   last two years, for example.

Not worried about disk space.  I'm more concerned that it usually
takes a person to track these address changes down since the user
often forgets what they signed up under a year or two later.  This
already is a problem with just our mailing lists.

>   However one should be allowed to add aliases at the time of creating
>   the initial subscription.

This would not be difficult to do.  We'll work out the other details
about handling slightly different addresses from the same institution,
I'm sure.

>Just my 2c.  Overall, I support the ideas for the future of biosci.
>Phil Jeffrey



				Dave Kristofferson
				BIOSCI/bionet Manager

				biosci-help at

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