The list server program that the Buddies List uses, Mailman, is one of the major players in this particular industry. It has been around for many years and has been kept up to date with the latest technology over the years. The short answer is that we don't think you'll get any more spam or be any more likely to get a virus or other malware as a result of subscribing to the Buddies List.
A number of industry-wide techniques have been employed in an attempt to foil the folks who like to spoil a good time for the rest of us. Every message that is sent to the Buddies List is checked against a set of criteria to determine how likely it is to be spam. Attachments in formats that are those that can be used to send trojan horses and other malware are removed from the messages or converted to plain text so there is no chance of them harming your computer.
Occasionally the list server may decide that your message might possibly be spam, or might really be a question regarding how to use the list itself rather than a message to the group. In cases like these your message will be routed to the list moderator rather than sent to the whole group. The moderator will examine your message and determine what to do next. If you were in fact asking a question about subscribing to the list you’ll get an answer directly from the moderator without bothering the whole group. If your e-mail was intended for the whole group the moderator will approve it and it will be sent to the group.
That said, we have found that there are a few situations that will, without a doubt, cause your message to be held up for approval by the moderator:
- Sending to ten people (or more) in addition to the Buddies List address
- Putting the list’s address in your BCC (blind copy) line
- Your message is too long (the max is 40 KB, enough to write a very long description of the ride you're leading or the bike you're selling, but not enough to include an image, or, if you compose in MS Word, background stationery)
- You use the word "subscribe" in your subject
While we hope never to have to use it, the Buddies List Moderator reserves the right to reject messages held for moderation that do not meet our criteria. Buddies will be notified individually if a message is inappropriate or rejected. If the occasion should arise in which a Buddy continues to attempt to send messages that are inappropriate for a family-oriented bicycling group like the Buddies List, that individual will be removed from the Buddies List. These warnings and deletions, should they occur, will not be broadcast to Buddies List members.