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Why have I received an email with a subject line "BOUNCE @lists.soton.ac.uk:Header field too long"?

Majordomo rejects messages whose header field is longer than 1024 characters. All messages with such a long header are not posted to the list but bounced back to the owner.

This problem is usually caused by an email being addressed to a mailing list and also to a personal distribution list from the senders address book.  When an email is sent to a distribution list the list is expanded to put all the individual addresses in the header of the email and if this exceeds the character limit 1024 it will cause Majordomo to reject the message with the bounce message as above.  The email will be delivered to the names in the distribution list but not to the members of the Majordomo list.

The list member should be advised to send two messages - one to the list name and the other to their own distribution list. Majordomo will accept messages addressed to more than one Majordomo mailing list. The reason for setting a limit is to prevent junk mail being sent to Majordomo mailing lists.  Spammers commonly send emails which have long headers containing lots of addresses.

 

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