locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

David P. Dillard

There are a couple of observations that I would like to share regarding this issue that pull in opposite directions.

I am a mail receiving member of many professional and interest discussion groups in which I am just a member. There is no doubt that the mistake of sending to the whole group instead of one member does occur. It is, however, on the lists I am on an infrequent occurance. It may happen a few times a year, so I do not see this as a critical issue. One method of prevention is to check where the message is going and spot this error before it leaves your device.

On the other hand, sending to the group instead of one colleague can be embarrassing and even illegal. Consider a list colleague with whom you have had previous correspondence privately. He posts in general some question about cancer support services. In your response that you think is only to him but is to the group, you say something like "in the case of end stage renal cancer which you have, these are the best support groups to contact." You may have violated the HIPAA law (U.S.), especially if you are a practicing medical professional. Therefore in the "abundance of caution" world, this may be an important addition to the email protocols of a discussion group service. Another precaution is to forward messages and use precisely the address or addresses on wants to use. One would have to insert a wrong address for it to go to a whole group when using this method, somewhat less likely than picking the wrong option.

On the LegalMed and LNC Exchange (Legal Nurse Consulting) discussion groups these issues are deemed very important. Indeed LegalMed has no archive at all of its messages. Both frown heavily on discussing specific cases on the list as one does not know if that discussion will get to attorneys on the other side of a case. Hence another aspect of this issue is about who is using the list and what purposes it is serving for this to be an important or unimportant issue. You for some reason may only want Jane to know that you got a great new book about sewing, but the world as we know it today is not going to come to an end if the whole list finds out about your sewing book acquisition.

David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584

On Sat, 2 Jul 2016, AQ via Groups.io wrote:

I think it needs to be up to the group whether is a choice for the sender
or the choice of the group owner where replies are sent. In some groups,
it is important for messages to go only to the sender, while in others private
messages would be unwelcome. In other groups, it can be up to the sender
to decide with no group preference indicated or required.

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