moderated Re: reply-to-sender coded hashtag results in "you are not allowed to post to this topic" via email #bug


 

J,

When a hashtag is set to reply-to-sender ... when people respond via
email, some of them - and this seems random - get a bounce message
with a groups.io explanation "500: Error: You are not allowed to post
to this thread."
That's correct behavior on Groups.io's part - they aren't allowed to post to that thread because, per the hashtag, replies should go to the sender instead.

The randomness comes from the behavior of the replying member's email client. Most correctly send the reply only to the sender and they don't get an error back. At least not from Groups.io, as they would not have received anything.

But sometimes the email service will reply to the sender with a CC to the group's posting address. In some cases this may be because the user has opted for "Reply to All" as their default reply, in other cases it may be a mis-feature of the email interface.

Perhaps the hashtag code is only meant to work with web replies, and
not with email?
No, it is intended for both.

But apparently some email services don't do the expected thing, or the user has forgotten that they set "Reply to All" as default and didn't notice the CC in their composition window. In mobile email interfaces the CC might not be shown unless one "opens" some header details.

Perhaps it's a simple matter of an erroneous error message, and the
error message could simply be eliminated?
The error message could be more specific "... because this thread is marked ReplyToSender". But I'm not sure those same people won't be just as confused/concerned that their condolence didn't go through.

Shal

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