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[liberationtech] Please Vote on "Reply to" Question

Julian Oliver julian at
Fri Mar 22 09:38:05 PDT 2013

..on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 12:21:54PM -0400, R. Jason Cronk wrote:
> Can I vote reply-to-null? That would prevent all mishaps.
> Seriously though, this presents an interesting display of the
> trade-offs between privacy risks and convenience of use.  Given that
> the purpose of the list is to perpetuate an ongoing discussion, the
> convenience of replying to the entire list seems to outweigh the
> risk of revealing private information.  Optimally, the from header
> should say liberationtech with a inline note at the top identifying
> the author is. This would reduce (though not eliminate) the risk of
> someone misidentifying the intended recipient of their reply. I
> don't think the list software supports such configuration though.
> Just as a point of analysis, I've seen distribution lists that were
> intended to be one way (i.e. a few authorized individuals may send
> out messages) but were configured wrong such that replies not only
> were sent to the list, but the list allowed anybody, not just
> authorized individuals, to post. Contextually, this is much
> different, and the analysis would weigh in favor of making such a
> list reply to sender, not reply to all.  However, in those cases,
> the problem results from a misconfiguration not a failure to weight
> the risks.

Don't people simply need to take responsibility for noting where and to whom
they are sending their emails? Reply-to-sender seems like a very odd default on
a mailing list - more so if implemented to 'protect us from ourselves'.  If I
want to reply to the sender, I will do so, but by default I expect when
subscribed to a mailing list I'm there for the open discussion. 

Society is risky!


Julian Oliver

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