HELP Key ???

Bob Sneidar bobs at
Thu Oct 28 16:14:43 EDT 2010

HAH! You nailed it Jacque! My test email got bounced. What an odd thing to reply with though! Administrivia?? Why not just say "Administrative Command"? 


On Oct 28, 2010, at 12:23 PM, J. Landman Gay wrote:

> On 10/28/10 1:46 PM, Bob Sneidar wrote:
>> I see that the Administrivia contains as one payload it's own spam
>> mailer. It uses a long list of subject lines, and I think one of them
>> is "HELP". If this is the subject line you used, or if the subject
>> line contained that word, you may have triggered a false positive in
>> the list's AV filter.
> That may not be what is going on. On many text-based lists like this one, the word "HELP" is the standard keyword one sends to the adminstrative address in order to receive an auto-mailing of the commands available when using the list. It's a remnant of an older, text-based system, and two of the parrot lists I read still use it. It is very common for users to accidentally send the HELP command to the main list address instead of to the administrative (server) address. When that happens, all sorts of things like password requests, user account updates, search request terms, temporary stop requests, and other non-topic emails show up in the main list, to the annoyance of all the readers.
> There is a fairly standard filter that looks for possible administrative requests, one of which is HELP, to see if the email was sent to the wrong address. If it finds any of the command words in certain locations, it forwards the email to moderation so that a real person can determine whether the email was intended as a server/account command or as a valid list post.
> I know this is the case with the bird lists I read. I'm not sure about Mailman (which is what this list uses) but it makes sense.
> -- 
> Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at
> HyperActive Software           |
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