Where should mailing list replies go?

John Billings writes:

I’d also like to change it so that when you hit reply the messge
goes to the list and not the sender.

Although this is common behavior, there are good reasons to consider
keeping the current setting of not overriding Reply-To. This is a
fairly religious topic thoroughly covered in the following pages:

Keeping Reply-To intact:

Overriding Reply-To:

(Not that number should indicate anything, but the pages are
interesting in themselves.)

Here are the reasons why I think not overriding Reply-To: makes sense
for this community.

The Mail-Followup-To: header is often used to redirect a thread to
another, more appropriate mailing list. For example, if something on
the admin mailing list becomes of general interest, then you could add
a Mail-Followup-To: header that automatically redirects replies to
that message to, say, the people mailing list. On the other hand, if
the admin mailing list overrides Reply-to: and no one distinguishes
between Reply and Followup, then people would have to make a conscious
effort to post to the right mailing list.

Also, discarding the Reply-To: set by the user loses information and
makes it difficult to send off-list replies to people whose
originating addresses may not be the same as their preferred address.
This is the case when people have multiple e-mail addresses subscribed
or recognized so that they can send mail from anywhere, but prefer
receiving all their list mail through one account (gmail, for example,
so that it can be archived nicely).

Many mailing lists choose to override the Reply-To: in order to
accommodate people who don’t distinguish between Reply and Follow-Up,
but the distinction makes it much easier for people who are used to
making conscious decisions to reply on or off list. Your mail client
should have a separate command for Follow up, which you can use for
replying to mailing lists. I recommend keeping the current setting for
NIPL mailing lists.

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