Kavi Mailing List Manager Help

Chapter 37. How Did this Message Get Through?

Before you begin

The first step in problem solving is to be sure you have correctly identified the problem. Review the problem statements listed below to see if one of them fits your situation before proceeding. If you aren't sure any of the statements fit, see How to Use the Email Troubleshooting Flowcharts for a list of other problem statements and flowcharts.

Problem statements that fit this flowchart:

  • Yikes, this message shouldn't have been posted...it contains inappropriate content (e.g., virus, spam, offensive language, etc). How did it get through to the list?

  • A message containing inappropriate content was distributed through the website, but not through a mailing list.

Related problem statements that do NOT fit this flowchart:

The usual suspects

  • One moderator approved a message that another moderator wanted to reject, so the person who wanted to reject the message wants to know who approved it.

  • If the message is blatantly inappropriate and the moderator is new, it's possible that the moderator's browser inserted a different email address command than expected when the moderator replied to the moderation request, so the message was approved instead of rejected.

  • A message was posted to a mailing list by someone whose right to post is being questioned.

  • An unmoderated mailing list is being spammed.

  • A message containing spam or other offensive content was distributed through an alias.

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Flowchart

Figure 37.1. Flowchart for How Did this Message Get Through?

Numbers in the flowchart correspond to
	    numbered steps in the instructions.
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Instructions

Collect the following information (or as much of it as possible):

  • A copy of the message

  • Any other potentially pertinent information provided by the reporter (such as whether the message was posted to a mailing list or alias, why the reporter thinks the message shouldn't have been posted, etc.)

Step 1. Was this message posted to a mailing list?

Results

Yes

Go to Step 2.

No

Go to Step 4.

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Step 2. Does this list restrict posting?

Click the View link to see List Type configuration and posting access rules.

To determine posting access rules for a Kavi Groups list:

  1. If you have administrator privileges, use the Manage Existing Groups tool and click the 'Modify' link adjacent to the group whose mailing list rules you want to view. Scroll down the Modify Group tool page to the 'Mailing List Usage' Section. If the 'Message Moderation Strategy' feature is set to 'accepted without moderator intervention', then posting is entirely unrestricted.

  2. If you are a group chair or manager, use the My Groups page. Click the name of the group you wish to view, then click the 'Modify Group Setup' link then scroll down to the 'Mailing List Usage' section to view list configuration. If this section contains the phrase 'Messages that are NOT from group moderators are accepted without moderator intervention.', then posting is entirely unrestricted.

Results

No

Resolution: Unmoderated public lists are wide open and accept posts from anyone.

If the organization wants more control over list content, the list can be reconfigured to reject or moderate public posts.

Yes

Go to Step 3.

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Step 3. Does the sender have direct posting privileges?

To find out whether the sender has direct posting privileges, determine the sender's list access level, then see if users at that level are allowed to post directly.

To determine whether the address has direct posting privileges (Kavi Mailing List Manager lists):

  1. See what kind of subscription types are assigned to the sender's email address by searching for the address in the Manage a Subscriber's Lists tool.

  2. The address's list user level is based on which list(s) it is subscribed to.

    Subscriber list List user level classification rule
    Moderator If the 'Moderator' box is checked, the mailing list classifies the sender as a 'moderator'. Moderators are usually also subscribed as regular or digest subscribers so they can receive list messages as well as moderation requests, but the 'moderator' designation trumps other classifications.
    Regular Subscriber If the 'Regular Subscriber' box is checked, the mailing list classifies the sender as a 'subscriber'.
    Digest Subscriber If the 'Digest Subscriber' box is checked, the mailing list classifies the sender as a 'subscriber'.
    Poster If the 'Poster' box is checked, the mailing list classifies the sender as a 'poster'.
    Address not found If the sender's address isn't subscribed (the search returns no results), the mailing list classifies the sender as a 'public' level list user.
  3. Now see if the posting access rules allow this level of list user to post directly.

To determine whether the address has direct posting privileges (Kavi Groups lists):

  1. If you have administrator privileges, use the Manage Existing Groups tool and click the name of the group. Click the link to the Roster and view the individual's roles.

  2. Anyone who is a member of the group can view the group roster by going to the All Groups page, clicking the name of the list, then clicking the 'Roster' link. If this individual is listed on the roster, their roles will be displayed.

  3. Now see if the posting access rules allow users with this role to post directly.

Results

Yes

Resolution: The person who sent this message is allowed to post directly to the list.

No

Resolution: The person who sent this message doesn't have direct posting privileges, so a moderator must have approved the message. Determine who approved the message, then provide this information to the querant. You are welcome to copy, paste and edit the sample message for use in your response.

To determine who approved the message:

  1. Use the Mail Delivery Logs tool, entering the sender's email address in the 'Search' text box and setting the 'Start Time' to 'Today' unless you need to search back further.

  2. Now trace the message through the qmail IDs in the mail logs, as described in the Mail Delivery Logs page help (click the help icon). For an example of tracing a moderated message through the approval process, see Mail Log Samples: Moderated message approved.

Our research indicates this message was approved by a moderator.

  • The email address of the moderator who approved this message is: __________

  • If you are a new moderator or are using a new mail client and approved this message by mistake, be sure to review to contents of the 'To:' field when sending your next moderation response. The behavior of mail clients varies so the moderation request provides instructions that will work in most mail clients, but also provides the specific email command addresses so you can cut and paste them into the 'To:' field if necessary.

  • The online documentation for the Kavi Mailing List Manager on the Kavi Community site contains a detailed description of the mechanics of using email command addresses to moderate list messages. See Moderation messages in Chapter 7. How to Moderate a Mailing List.

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Step 4. Was this message distributed through an alias?

See if the address in the message's 'To:' field is an alias listed in the KaviŽ Mailing List Manager Edit an Alias tool.

Results

Yes

Resolution: This message was distributed through an alias. Unlike mailing lists, which support rules that restrict access to posting, anyone can post to an alias. If you want more information about the sender, follow the instructions for finding the identity of the originating sender in the mail logs.

If you like, you can copy and paste the following sample message into your response.

Our research indicates this message was distributed through an alias.

  • Email aliases are simple mail-forwarding mechanisms that don't support filtering, so some inappropriate material such as spam inevitably gets through to any alias.

  • Some common aliases such as 'support@example.org' are especially prone to spam, which is why Kavi encourages the use of contact forms to collect public input.

  • If a virus was distributed through your alias, your organization might consider implementing virus filtering for your website.

  • The online documentation for the Kavi Mailing List Manager on the Kavi Community site contains a detailed explanation of aliases. See Introduction to Mailing Lists and Aliases.

No

Resolution: Find this message in the mail logs to determine its source.

How to use the mail logs to determine a message's originating sender:

  1. You will need the date and time the message was sent.

  2. Use the Kavi Mailing List Manager Mail Delivery Logs tool, enter the recipient's email address or the time the message was sent (in 'hh:mm' format) in the 'Search' text box. Set the 'Search Time' parameter to retrieve the applicable portion of the logs. Only search back as far as you need to, because mail logs searches tend to be time-consuming. Click the Search button to retrieve the logs. If your search returns no results, try it again with a different value entered in the 'Search' text box or leave this field blank.

  3. Now find the originating sender in the top line of the first mail log entry for this message. It will look something like this:

    2005-06-06 07:38:24 <originator@example.com> ... sent 47957 bytes from qp 6629

    Note the presence of the term 'sent', indicating the sender is the originator of the message. If the term 'resent' is here, this log entry records a leg of the message's journey in which it was forwarded, so you'll have to search further back in the logs to find the entry that records the first leg of the message's journey through the system. If this is the case, use the qmail id 'qp 6629', which was assigned on the previous leg of the message's journey, to trace the message backwards through the logs to the previous entry for this message.

  4. If you aren't familiar with qmail logs, click the help icon on the Mail Logs tool page for help interpreting mail logs.

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