Topics

moderated Email Privacy


Larry Finch
 

I have one list owner (on listserv, not groups.io) who hosts a list on travel in China. As much of what is posted can be construed as political by authorities in China he  assures complete anonymity. He does that by setting the list to moderated. So every message goes to him only. Instead of releasing it he copies the content into a new post, removing all personally identifiable information, and posts it under his moderator email address. He’s been doing this for 20 years.

Larry

On Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 11:10 AM Nis Jørgensen <nis@...> wrote:
On Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 07:43 PM, Larry Finch wrote:

> In groups that I host we recommend that users create “throwaway” gmail or
> yahoo addresses that don’t identify them and are used only for posting to
> the group.

As Patti wrote: "Many of these users are not sophisticated enough to set up an alternate email or even realize they could be exposed. " The point is, I would like to extend the anonymity to the ones who don't think they need it, and to the ones who may think they need it, but don't know how. Or the ones who choose not to join, because of the lack of anonymity. Some may even see see the lack of built-in anonymity as a problem, not just for themselves. As I mentioned, the group has the word "anonymous" in its name.



--
Larry Finch

N 40° 53' 50"
W 74° 02' 55"


Nis Jørgensen
 

On Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 07:43 PM, Larry Finch wrote:

In groups that I host we recommend that users create “throwaway” gmail or
yahoo addresses that don’t identify them and are used only for posting to
the group.
As Patti wrote: "Many of these users are not sophisticated enough to set up an alternate email or even realize they could be exposed. " The point is, I would like to extend the anonymity to the ones who don't think they need it, and to the ones who may think they need it, but don't know how. Or the ones who choose not to join, because of the lack of anonymity. Some may even see see the lack of built-in anonymity as a problem, not just for themselves. As I mentioned, the group has the word "anonymous" in its name.


Larry Finch
 

In groups that I host we recommend that users create “throwaway” gmail or yahoo addresses that don’t identify them and are used only for posting to the group. 

On Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 11:31 AM Nis Jørgensen <nis@...> wrote:
On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 08:59 PM, Patti Woodbury wrote:

> I’ve just spent several days working with others to set up a health-oriented
> education/discussion/support group only to realize that the email feeds
> don’t scrub individuals’ email addresses. Otherwise the functionality is
> exactly what we need.

I am interested in pretty much the same thing as Patti, for pretty much the same reason. The group I am in even has the word "anonymous" in its name ...



--
Larry Finch

N 40° 53' 50"
W 74° 02' 55"


Nis Jørgensen
 

On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 08:59 PM, Patti Woodbury wrote:

I’ve just spent several days working with others to set up a health-oriented
education/discussion/support group only to realize that the email feeds
don’t scrub individuals’ email addresses. Otherwise the functionality is
exactly what we need.
I am interested in pretty much the same thing as Patti, for pretty much the same reason. The group I am in even has the word "anonymous" in its name ...


 

Mark,

For a true anonymous group to work, even through email, we'd have to
run an anonymizing email forwarder
... I'm not saying we can't do it, but I am saying it's a bit of work.
Perhaps something less than "true" would be less work, and cover most use cases, including Patti's.

I'm imagining that the "anonymous" feature could be available only to groups with Reply To set to "Group" (or "Moderators"). That would eliminate the need for forwarding emails (presuming you also remove the "Reply to Sender" footer link in such groups).

... a special, per individual, groups.io address, ...
I think we'd still want this, but used in the From field, not as a Reply-To. Using a group address for re-written From fields is a mistake Yahoo Groups made (for DMARC support) and it can cause havoc with user's address books and address auto-complete mechanisms. As an individual (yet anonymous) From address it would be acceptable for this to be a no-reply address.

Possibly it could be built as a +member1234 version of the group's email address, where the 1234 would be a number unique to that subscription, such as the number used in the URL for their page in the Members list.

An advantage of forming it this way is that it might be forward compatible with a future forwarding mechanism.

Shal


 

On Thu, Jun 20, 2019 at 11:59 AM Patti Woodbury <deserthorses@...> wrote:
I see the thread I replied to is old, lengthy and became argumentative so thought it best to start fresh.
I’ve just spent several days working with others to set up a health-oriented education/discussion/support group only to realize that the email feeds don’t scrub individuals’ email addresses. Otherwise the functionality is exactly what we need.  


For a true anonymous group to work, even through email, we'd have to run an anonymizing email forwarder (replies to messages would be to a special, per individual, groups.io address, which we'd then have to forward to the original sender). I'm not saying we can't do it, but I am saying it's a bit of work. I don't see it as a priority right now.

Thanks,
Mark


 

I see the thread I replied to is old, lengthy and became argumentative so thought it best to start fresh.
I’ve just spent several days working with others to set up a health-oriented education/discussion/support group only to realize that the email feeds don’t scrub individuals’ email addresses. Otherwise the functionality is exactly what we need.  
If addresses can’t be scrubbed from the email feeds, then a no-email option would work well. Most similar (health) groups are web based only and people often join for short periods of time for information and support then move on - there’s no need for them to have access to everyone else’s address. Many of these users are not sophisticated enough to set up an alternate email or even realize they could be exposed. If two unknowingly related people join the.same medical condition group, they might not want each other to know for personal, work related or legal reasons. Comments were made in the earlier thread that a web only option or scrubbing email addresses would be “exclusionary”.  What is “exclusionary” is that not allowing email privacy excludes people with medical conditions from participating in an educational science and experience based support group on groups.io. 
It can’t be that difficult to provide code to have the system allow  email replies without posting addresses (to take care of those who can’t/won’t read on the web) and to have “reply to sender” or PM’s not showing the recipient’s name - giving the recipient the opportunity to reply directly and reveal their address only if they wish to. 
I totally get those who read a post and want to contact the poster directly for whatever reason. But there are situations when it can be wise to allow it to be the recipient’s choice to respond or not when someone has reached out to them and not have their email end up in the sender’s contact list. (Do you accept every Facebook friend request.)
When unwanted PM is received and is reported, a Moderator/owner can ban the sender. But I have seen someone come in despite moderation and scrape email addresses from digests then use these to mount an ongoing advertising campaign. If this were to occur with a health related group (not to say web-only is immune to break ins) it could be problematic with possible legal implications. 
While I understand that groups.io might not be able to be all things to all people, making these what appear to be fairly easy changes would open groups.io to a additional genre of user groups (which anyone is free *not* to join) without affecting any current functionality. 

Thank you.

Patti in AZ