Spam in the Debian List Archive
Note that all this is very preliminary. Comments and suggestions are very welcome.
It has been claimed that the Debian list archives contain spam email messages.
There is a "report as spam" button in on the list archive page of each message, but presently, spam is by and large not removed from the archives. The submissions seem to help (more or less) with finding spam but need manual review before they could be acted upon.
Towards a spam removal policy
Policy corner stones
- Messages that are (beyond doubt) spam should be removed from the web archives. They should remain in the mailbox archives (and thus be accessible to developers on master.d.o).
- Spam removals should be very conservative, with any doubt meaning no removal. For systematic removal, candidates need to be checked multiple times in order to minimize the risk of unmerited removal.
The information which messages have been flagged junk and how that came to be (review logs) should be accessible along with the mailbox archives, so any developer can inspect the changes to the archive and complain to listmaster about removals. This information is currently in http://lists.debian.org/archive-spam-removals/spam-removals/ .
- On the technical side, when removing messages from the list archives URIs of messages must not change. To this end, lists.debian.org uses a version of the mhonarc mailbox converter that has been enhanced to allow skipping spam.
Ad hoc policy
Review standards should be set after seeing how things pan out, I am aiming at three reviewers, including one experienced one (after some bootstrapping). I hope this would minimize the risk of unwarrented removal. A rigorous standard seems to be necessary to obtain consensus with the project. As such, the three reviewers is only a guideline, not a rule. Of course, more reviewers doing shorter reviews would help tremendously. Ultimately, guaranteeing the integrety of the list archives currently falls in the realm of the Debian listmaster.
discontinued script based effort to flag spam.
If you have used this one to flag spam, then your work isn't lost. Please send it in, your reports can be converted into the new internal format, so the new method knows which posts have been rated by you.
new web-based effort to flag spam.
- Only tag as spam what really is absolutely surely spam. For example some people take offense to some comments on the lists, but that is not spam.
- Inappropriate is the (misguided) term presently used for misguided ((un)subscribe to list, test messages, replies to Spam messages, vac messages, spam backscatter, probably NOT votes sent to debian-devel instead of devotee) messages, is is not entirely clear what to do with those, but please tag them accordingly.
- Multiple people need to classify messages and if three more people flag a message as (Spam|Ham|Inappropriate), we can act accordingly. Note that this will be made public (at least to DDs) for verification of removals later.
There are four states spam, non-spam, inappropriate, unsure to use.
The Webinterface can be found at http://lists.debian.org/archive-spam-removals/review/. To proceed from that page you need to authorize. For now you need to be a DD, and you need to contact me for a login, Maybe the Authorisation will be later through LDAP.
- Don't be overwhelmed by the number of articles that are nominated to review. The webinterface shows you 10 of it, ordered by the number of nominations. And you should never see the same post again.
Any suggestions on the above and/or the program are of course welcome.
- Because of the many false positives in the Nominations we need to make sure that
- Webbots don't press the Spam-Button
- We only consider nominations with more than one nomination.
- Known good mails (at least the ones tagged 'Not Spam' in the Reviewer Process) should be flagged in the archive so they can not be nominated again.
People doing this
If you want to jump in, contact CordBeermann for username/password. Your help is appreciated.