I own several mailing lists. I help moderate or screen members for several others.
The list is for adults (parents, teachers, Scout leaders, aunts, uncles—whoever) who are concerned about the girls in their lives. There are a few girls on the list, but they don’t usually participate.
After the list was repeatedly hit by kiddie porn spammers, we went to restricted membership and required introductions from potential members, with new members moderated for a month after they join. No more kiddie porn (or any other kind of spam).
But from time to time, we get people trying to join who are obviously, to me, adults pretending to be 11 or 12-year-old girls. I cannot think of ANY legitimate reason for that. None. And I deny their requests for membership. And they generally complain and kvetch and want to know EXACTLY why they can’t get on the list.
The list owner leaves this stuff to me because, frankly, she hasn’t a suspicious bone in her body. When I point things out to her she says, “Oh, yeah, I guess that does seem weird. I didn’t think about it.”
I’m not going to lead these idiots step by step over every little clue that triggers suspicion. Why help them to improve? But I haven’t yet found a polite way to explain, either. And I know perfectly well that I am NOT infallible.
If it were just MY list, I’d simply state that it’s mine and I make the rules and that’s that. But it isn’t. It’s a list associated with a great organization, and I don’t want my actions to reflect poorly on them in any way. So I do think I need to come up with SOME kind of explanation for the rejections. I’m soliciting suggestions.
It would be easier if we just closed the list to minors, but the list owner doesn’t want to do that.