Anonymity and corporate services

There is a setting on mailman lists that allows for anonymity between users – users hiding from each other the fact that it was them sending that email, and, if the list is publicly archived, they hide that from potential readers too.

Mailman does this by hiding the address of the sender and replacing it with the name of the list as if the list was the sender.

List admins are autonomous and can decide to change the settings of their list, we understand this is done with the consensus of all list members.

However, this is what we advise from aktivix:

The problem with altering the sender settings in mailman, is that nobody knows who said what to whom. Making it pretty much impossible to maintain a sensible threaded conversation.

Also, there are a number of things that would make this setting irrelevant. One is the very cool and very widely-used setting of automatically add a personal signature to all outgoing email. Another one is using a corporate email service provider.

Anonymity is about hiding your identity. You use this setting to hide your identity from your fellow list members. To hide it from big corporations (and the governments those corporations pass information to), you simply do not use those big corporations.

Using those services means agreeing to provide them with a lot more information, so much so, that the identity given by any state in the form of name, surname or passport number is no longer relevant. And no anonymity setting in a mailing list will be able to counteract that.

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