Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs

Bart Schaefer <> Fri, 29 January 2010 18:08 UTC

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From: Bart Schaefer <>
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Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 10:08:19 -0800
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Comments: In reply to Michael Thomas <> "Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs" (Jan 29, 9:23am)
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Subject: Re: [Asrg] Adding a spam button to MUAs
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On Jan 29,  9:23am, Michael Thomas wrote:
} The question should always be: "does user X want this mail?" rather
} than "this mail is spam/ham in absolute terms". The sooner we get
} beyond the paleospamogist priesthood, the sooner we get on with the
} actual job of building products for its users rather than the various
} other vested interests.

I think the trouble here is that there are actually two different
problems being conflated.

Mike is focused on the problem of making the users happy, which means
both eliminating content they don't want to be bothered with, and *not*
eliminating content they find desirable.

Rich is focused on the problem of network maintenance and security,
which means eliminating unwanted/malicious traffic as early as possible 
and with minimal disruption to the important/innocuous traffic.

These two foci are in conflict.  For Rich, it's obvious that end users
have limited expertise in distinguishing undesirable traffic; and to
allow the users to express their opinion, he must first allow that
traffic to pass, which is unacceptably dangerous, possibly disruptive,
and violates the "as early as possible" constraint.  Only an absolute
classification helps to solve Rich's problem.

Rich may be overly dismissive of Mike's problem, but to declare concerns
about maintenance and security to be anachronisms not part of the "actual
job" is to repeat the mistakes of the past.