Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(December 1997)
 

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Subject: Re: policy issue on Bcc: of list..
From: "Michael C. Berch" <mcb @ postmodern . com>
Organization: Postmodern Consulting, California USA
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 1997 23:56:46 -0800
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
References: <v0313030cb0b7c4e1643c @ [207 . 167 . 80 . 70]>
Reply-to: mcb @ postmodern . com

The chief mischief of Bcc'ing a list, I think, is that it defeats users'
attempts to filter their incoming mail using list names (etc.) in well-known
headers.  In order to stave off the need for the (IMHO ugly and annoying) 
subject-prefix for list message subject lines, I've told people that they
shuld use a filtering program, and that the name of the list is guaranteed to
appear in either the "To:" or "Cc:" headers. 

There's something vaguely bothering me about promoting a Bcc to a Cc, because
if the Cc line already has other recipients, a list member who does a normal
"Reply All" will send to those recipients as well, who will rightfully be
wondering how that person got hold of the message.  (That's true of any Bcc,
of course, but if the list member does not know that the list he got it on was
in fact a Bcc, there would be no reason to presume prudence in replying.) 

A solution might be to add the list name in an added header, like
X-Original-Bcc: or something, just so a "view all headers" action by the list
member will reveal the source of the message.  On my (Majordomo-based) lists
the "owner-listname" address appears in a Sender: header, so that might not be
necessary after all.  I forget if that's the doing of sendmail or Majordomo's
"resend" script. 

The best choice of all, of course, might just be to discourage Bcc's, and ask
list members who would have reason to want to do so to simply forward (i.e.,
encapsulate) a complete copy of the message instead.

-- 
Michael C. Berch
mcb @
 postmodern .
 com / mcb @
 greatcircle .
 com


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