email accusations

a comment by Brian Shiratsuki

April 19, 2011

KPFA LSB associate station Representative Withers kindly forwarded an undated "KPFA Policy on Electronic mail and other messaging." several days ago the KPFA LSB censured delegate Rosenberg for sending an unapproved email to a KPFA list using a service external to KPFA. By this action the LSB inequitably singled out Ms. Rosenberg since at least two paid staff have violated the same policy with impunity. Furthermore, one would reasonably expect those staff to be more aware of the policy than Ms. Rosenberg.

The policy requires, roughly, that station lists must traverse a specific server,; and that messages for such lists must conform to specified reasonable standards. Since the policy has no date, it is unclear when it became effective. When I joined the KPFA program council in 2005, hosted its email list.

The policy also includes an unnecessarily specific technical requirement for "List-" headers which may facilitate unsubscribing from lists. Two email messages to KPFA lists from KPFA staff violated the policy by omitting such headers, though they included other means to the same end. The board should encourage revision of this element of the policy.

Absent from the policy is any requirement for management review of the content of email messages to KPFA lists. The policy leaves the discrimination of acceptable content to the sender. The policy does not require Ms. Rosenberg to seek management approval of messages for KPFA email lists.

The KPFA LSB seemed most concerned not that Rosenberg's message didn't expand on, but that it expanded on a server external to KPFA. I have a message stored from KPFA web producer Guerrero dated 10 September 2009, sent on behalf of then GM Rijio, which appears to have originated on (in the cloud) and expanded on Today and presumably then that server is logically distinct from This probably indicates a broken policy as well as a policy violation, and the former should be corrected.

That policy violation went undetected by the KPFA LSB, and presumably doesn't trouble them since the server lives in the domain. What should trouble them is that on 1 July 2010 events(at) sent an email message which at the bottom says: "This email was sent by KPFA Crafts and Music Fair, Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, CA 94103, using Express Email Marketing." Someone submitted a KPFA email list to a firm called express email marketing, and sent a message to a KPFA list through a server outside of KPFA.

Delegate Rosenberg violated the first section of the policy neither in word, since she didn't employ a KPFA email service, nor in spirit, since the contents of the particular message conformed to policy. The policy does not require management approval of messages bound for stations lists, so acceptable content was at her discretion. She did violate the policy proscribing use of servers other than, but so did the KPFA web producer, and more severely, events(at) Of the three who violated the policy, Ms. Rosenberg would be the least likely have been aware of its specifics.

The KPFA LSB should work to fix the policy, and either ask the GM to spank events(at) or rescind its censure of delegate Rosenberg.

April 19, 2011