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Reject Notices from Moderator Mailboxes. Privacy Issue?

by James Denison / November 2, 2010 2:43 AM PDT

Sent in an alert on inappropriate post. What a surprise to get back reject notices from two moderator accounts sent to my personal email account. One was from "mousearoma" and the other from Marianne Schmudlach.

Lee, if you need the headers, contact me privately at my registered email and I'll forward with all headers to you, or do a copy on the Source and send that if preferred.

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We're aware of the issue...
by John.Wilkinson / November 2, 2010 3:50 AM PDT

It's a glitch that has been affecting random ROPs for the past couple weeks. Moderators/administrators are randomly selected to have the ROP bounced back to the reporter without the ROP ever being sent to the mod/admin. There is no pattern to it and only a few ROP recipients are affected at a time; all other mods/admins still receive the ROP and can act on it. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this yet and a more robust update to the system is still a little way down the road as part of the forum overhaul. Until one of the two is pushed out, please just disregard/delete those bounce-backs.

John


P.S. Feel free to forward a couple of the bounce-backs to Lee; he and the engineers are trying to track down the source of the issue.

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You fail to understand the significance?
by James Denison / November 2, 2010 5:26 AM PDT

Maybe some mods might not care their private email addresses are being revealed in this manner. I suspect some do. Maybe the problem is there's a limit on how many addresses can be on each message sent from the alert system and simply expanding the number of recipients allowed would solve the problem. Many ISP's do this, put a limit on how many recipients can be in each message to avoid being used by spammers. If you have enough mods to run past that limit, some recipients get kicked off, but unfortunately it also creates the rejection notice which then goes not back just to CNET, but gets passed along to mail account of whomever sent the alert. I know if I was still working as a mod, I'd not appreciate that.

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You may have a point.
by MDFlax / November 2, 2010 7:08 AM PDT

It doesn't happen often enough that it has been picked up as a problem, but I can see your point. If an ISP or web-mail provider sets a limit on how many CC or BCC emails can be sent at any one time, and if the number of CNET recipients, Mods and in-house, is greater, that might cause a problem.

I also see your point about revealing email addresses. It will only be Mods and in-house people whose email address is revealed, and not members', but they are certainly revealed. Against that, we are all aware of this limitation.

Lee has been alerted to your thread.

Mark

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No, I fully understand...
by John.Wilkinson / November 2, 2010 7:12 AM PDT

Which is one of the reasons why I've been calling for an update of the functionality for a few years now. This isn't the first time that ROPs have bounced, just the most recent and prolific occurrence. However, there's nothing that I can do about the current glitch except be thankful it doesn't compromise the privacy of general members, only moderators, and hope for a quick patch until the current system is retired in the coming months.

John


P.S. It's not a matter of recipient count limitations; the count hasn't changed recently and it's affecting mods/admins randomly, regardless of email provider.

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Yep I agree with John.
by MDFlax / November 2, 2010 3:59 AM PDT

I've had a few as well. ROP's I send on spam, etc, posts I intend to delete and get one or two bounced back from various other Mods.

Whenever anyone sends an ROP CNET treats it as being sent from our own email address and sends it to every Mod, and Lee/Marc. There may be other techs as well who get them. That's why the bounce backs often have failed destination accounts that appear strange.

I am wondering if Yahoo mail account is a factor. I don't check all bounce backs but some I have checked appear to be to other Yahoo accounts.

Mark

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Re: bounces
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 2, 2010 7:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Yep I agree with John.

As I wrote before, I only get them with yahoo.com accounts. I remember it being 6 mods (once yesterday all 6, but also 2 or 4, luckily most often 0). That's Ed, Carol, Roger, Jonah, Mousearoma and Grif. So as far as I can see, it's a yahoo thing.

The number of recipients isn't a factor. There are no cc's, I'm the only adressee of any alert I receive. So my guess is it are all separate mails that are being sent. With the messages coming only from yahoo, my other guess is that it is some spam filter there. It's quite imaginable that they have a program that considers 2 or more identical messages received in a certain time frame as spam (or 2 the same message right after each other or some algorithm like that).
The time between reception of individual mails varies. Not in minutes, but certainly in milliseconds. And that should make a good explanation for the variety of the number of mails rejected.

It are quite normal mails. So I'm convinced it's not a problem with the sender, but with the receiver. If I'm right the simple work-around would be to pause a little bit (let's start with 200 ms) between sending each copy. Worth an experiment. Might even be important enough to be deployed during the freeze.
Just a suggestion.

Kees

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Other services have bounced too...
by John.Wilkinson / November 2, 2010 8:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: bounces

Most mods have Yahoo accounts, so most bounce-backs have Yahoo email addresses in the recipient field. However, I've also received them from Lee & Marc (CBS account), Rod (business account), and 'I-forget-who' (Hotmail account). With at least four different providers being randomly affected, I suspect it's something on CNET's end.

John

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Interesting detail.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 2, 2010 6:40 PM PDT

John,

The error message from the yahoo rejects are:
5.x.1 - Maximum number of delivery attempts exceeded. [Mailstorm] 451-'Message temporarily deferred - [160]'

And what is Mailstorm?
http://www.mailstorm.com/ explains: it's a junk mail filter.

To me, that still points to the receiver side, not the sending site. There's nothing wrong with the messages.
The rejects from Lee, Marc, Rod and 'you-forgot-who' maybe have other reasons.

Kees

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Slight differences...
by John.Wilkinson / November 2, 2010 11:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Interesting detail.

All of the rejections have the Mailstorm tag, using one of the following two reasons:

1.) Maximum number of delivery attempts exceeded. [Mailstorm] 451-'4.3.0 Mail server temporarily rejected message.
2.) Maximum number of delivery attempts exceeded. [Mailstorm] 451-'Message temporarily deferred

It may be a spam filter used by the receiver's service, but I just have a hard time accepting that given:
1.) It assumes four different services all use the same spam filter.
2.) Only some of the recipients, using varying services, get caught in it each time.
3.) Non-spam messages, such as reports of forum glitches, get caught.
4.) This began at the same time as the CNET server migrations/configuration changes.

If you're right, the easiest solution may be to use a reserved CNET address as the sender and have an exception added to the app. Still, I'm betting it's an outgoing mail issue as I'm not a big believer in coincidences.

John


P.S. The website you linked to is currently DOA ("The requested URL / was not found on this server."), but the cached version states that all rejection messages will include the phrase, "Mail appears to be unsolicited ? If not forward to mailstorm-mistakes@mailstorm.com."

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In the last two days
by MDFlax / November 2, 2010 10:27 PM PDT

ROP email bounce backs received;

Nov 2, Carol - yahoo
Nov 2, Roger - yahoo
Nov 2, Ed - yahoo
Nov 2, Mac(Unknown) - yahoo
Nov 2, Mousearoma - yahoo
Nov 2, Ed - yahoo
Nov 2, Mousearoma - yahoo
Nov 1, Jonah - yahoo
Nov 1, Carol - yahoo
Nov 1, Ed - yahoo

What I don't know is if I am not receiving ROPs from others, since I am also using Yahoo for my CNET account

But from that list it seems clear to me this is a Yahoo connected problem.

Mark

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(NT) I use verizon
by James Denison / November 3, 2010 10:32 AM PDT
In reply to: In the last two days
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