Campus Mailing Lists, Unwanted Mail Policy

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

What owners can do to control spam

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

Recommended list owner tools for spam prevention include (but are not limited to):


Blocklists allows you to selectively eliminate users or groups of users from using your list. If your list is being hit by, you could add the following to the Blocklist:


Other Blocklist syntax to keep in mind:

  • 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.
Details about Blocklist, Modlist and Safelist are available at:

Limiting who CAN VIEW the list and it’s subscribers

We suggest using the following ‘Privileges’ settings.  Details at: 

Who can review subscribers (review): ‘only owner (and listmaster)’ (owner)

So that only the owner can get a list of the subscribers. The easiest way to avoid people getting a list of your subscribers is to allow only yourself access to the list.

And, where appropriate;

Who can view list information (info):‘anyone form local domain’ (intranet)

… which limits list visibility to the University community.

Removing disruptive subscribers from your list(s)

List owners shall not abuse the list of users by distributing the list of subscribers or posting off-topic messages themselves.

To the best of their ability, the list owners shall keep the list contained to discussions related to the list description. Don't allow your list to be taken over by unapproved factions.


If a list owner is negligent in maintaining his/her list, Technology Services may need 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).

Official communications of the University of Illinois are specifically defined as not being spam.

If you have a question as to whether or not your message would be considered spam, email the Technology 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, you can forward a copy of the offending messages to to have the messages reviewed and possibly have campus filters updated: Email, Spam Control, How to report a spam or phishing email

Keywords:spam, mailing lists, Blacklist, subscribers, unsolicited, message, filters sympa   Doc ID:48383
Owner:Sympa S.Group:University of Illinois Technology Services
Created:2015-03-05 11:27 CSTUpdated:2016-12-21 10:20 CST
Sites:University of Illinois Technology Services
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