[Community-Discuss] List reply-to address

Alan Barrett alan.barrett at afrinic.net
Fri Sep 30 15:26:46 UTC 2016

On 30 Sep 2016, at 16:55, Seun Ojedeji <seun.ojedeji at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 30 Sep 2016 13:25, "Alan Barrett" <alan.barrett at afrinic.net> wrote:
>> and I have asked for the mailing list configuration to be changed so that it does not automatically add a “Reply-To” header in future.
> SO: I will suggest not to modify the list settings. Most of the time people hit reply and their mails goes as PM. I think it's absolutely fine for a community list like this to have a default response to the community. One can always do a formal withdrawal OR be mindful of who he/she is replying to before hitting the send button.

There is no good answer, but I seek to minimise the harm done by mistakes.

If the list does not add a reply-to address then there are two kind of mistakes, neither of them very serious:
1. Things that were intended as list replies are accidentally sent as personal replies.  trivial problem; they can be re-sent.
2. Things intended as list replies accidentally accumulate a long list of cc: addresses.  Minor problem; the people in the CC list get multiple copies of messages.

If the list does add a reply-to address, then there is one kind of very serous mistake:
3. Things that were intended as personal replies accidentally get sent to the list.  This is potentially a huge problem, as confidential information can be made public.

Therefore, to minimise the harm done by mistakes, the list should not add a reply-to address to messages.

I realise that this is debatable, but that’s my position.

Alan Barrett

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