Campus Mailing Lists, Unwanted Mail Policy

This page contains guidelines and policies for list owners to control spam on their mailing lists.

What owners can do to control spam

List owners are expected to manage their lists and make a reasonable attempt to prevent their lists from being used by for off-topic postings or solicitations.

To help with spam control, here are some of the tools that list owners have access to.


Blocklist, Modlist, and Safelist Owner Settings

Blocklist's allow you to selectively exclude individual users or domains from posting to your list. 

  • As and example: If your list is being hit by, you can configure the following rule to the Blocklist: *, so that it excludes the domain.

These settings are the same for each list type. Here are the additional Blocklist syntax rules:

  • only one email or expression per line
  • using # introduces a comment
  • using * match any string.  Example: “*” matches any sender from the “” domain
  • only one * character is permitted in a line
Mail owners can control member post behavior using: Blocklist, Modlist and Safelist settings.

Limiting who CAN VIEW the list and it’s subscribers

Privileged list can owners can define who can the review the subscribers of a mail list. We suggest using the ‘Privileges’ settings to assign access

Who can review subscribers

  • only owner (and listmaster) (owner): Choose this option so that only the owner can review the list of subscribers.

  • Who can view list information (info):‘anyone from local domain’ (intranet): Choose this option if appropriate, which allows you to extend visibility to the University community, such as anyone on the domain.

Local domain viewing

Removing disruptive subscribers from your list(s)

  • List owners shall not abuse the list of users by publishing the list of its subscribers, or posting off-topic messages themselves.
  • To the best of their ability, list owners shall keep the list discussions related to the list description. You have the right to ensure unauthorized individuals or groups are removed from the list.


If a list owner is negligent in maintaining his or her list, Technology Services has the authority to shut down the list.


Unwanted mail ("spam") is defined in fairly broad terms. Basically, it means any message that meets (but is not limited to) the following criteria:

  • sent to a large (greater than 50) number of email addresses or newsgroups
  • unsolicited and unexpected
  • the addresses were collected without the knowledge or consent of the recipients (this includes reviewing mailing lists).

When you are unsure if your message would be considered spam, email the Tech Services Help Desk with a copy of the message and a description of your intended target audience.

If your list appears to be receiving spam, please forward a copy of the offending messages to:, to have the messages reviewed and possibly have the campus filters updated to restrict this correspondence: Email, Spam Control, How to report a spam or phishing email 

Keywords:spam, mailing lists, blocklist, subscribers, unsolicited, message, filters sympa   Doc ID:48383
Owner:Sympa S.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-03-05 12:27 CDTUpdated:2020-10-05 08:35 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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