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From Rob Weir <>
Subject Re: Moderation best practices & FAQ
Date Thu, 07 Jun 2012 12:42:58 GMT
On Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 10:47 PM, Peter Junge <> wrote:
> Hi moderators, *,
> I have a couple of questions WRT the best practices of moderating AOO
> mailing list. As I have found, the mailing lists FAQs
> ( are yet non-existent, so the discussion
> here should also be used to contribute FAQs.

General mailing list FAQ's are on the website here:

Users who need basic FAQ's are probably not aware of how to request
the FAQ's via the mailing list.

A little bit on list moderation is here:

(The list of moderators could probably be updated)

> My questions are:
> 1) Shall moderators contact senders who are not subscribed to a mailing list
> an letting them know that they might not receive the answers to their
> questions? Or, going one step further, pointing those senders on the list
> archive, so they can look for replies there.

I don't do that.  But maybe make this clearer wherever we point users
to the lists?

> I'm not doing this at the moment. If we would agree to do so, it would be
> good to draft a reply template that every moderator can use.
> 2) Shall moderators contact senders who are disclosing their complete
> contact information (e.g. telephone, address) that it will be exposed in
> public before moderating the posting?

I do that sometimes, depending on context.  For example, if someone
just has an email signature that gives their name and phone number, I
let that pass.  But if they are clearly a confused user, or are a
minor saying "I have a school paper due tomorrow.  I need help, please
call me at 123-456-7890", then I reject that note and contact them and
point them to the support forums.

In the end it is not our responsibility to prevent users from
disclosing their private information.  It is there responsibility.

Another way to look at it is to consider Apache archive policy:

As you can see, basic contact information is not considered
confidential.   But things like social security numbers are.   So if
you see something that would be considered confidential per this
policy, then I think it would be reasonable to catch this at
moderation time if possible,

> My proceeding is to let those messages through if the sender is disclosing
> corporate contact information that one can find in directories or elsewhere.
> If the sender is disclosing private information, I'm not letting the message
> through but contact the person asking for an explicit allowance.
> 3) Should moderators report frequent spammers to Infra?

I have not seen frequent spammers.  I do see the same spam message
sent to many lists simultaneously.  But I have not seen the same spam
come days in a row.

> IMHO it might make sense to improve spam filters. Is there any automated
> process implemented?
> FAQs that seem to be clear are:
> Q: Where can I find the Apache committer's mail FAQ:
> A:
> Q: Where do I find the "Moderator's and Administrator's Manual" to Apache's
> mailing lists?
> A:
> Q: How do I recognize if a message on an AOO mailing list has been
> moderated?
> A: The header of an moderated email contains the item 'Delivered-To:
> moderator for ooo-*'
> More FAQ are certainly welcome.

These are good.   From a moderator's perspective, maybe:

How do I see who is subscribed to the list?

How do I manually unsubscribe someone?

In generally, the lists manage themselves.  Moderator intervention is
mainly needed in scenarios like this:

User is unable or unwilling to unsubscribe themselves.  They start
posting many disruptive angry messages to the list demand to be
removed.  They won't listen to install instructions. Or they are
unable to carry out these instructions.  Maybe they are confused
because of multiple email addresses or a forwarder.  Maybe they share
a PC with someone else who subscribed.  Maybe the spam filters are
preventing them from seeing the unsubscribe confirmation note, or are
preventing ezmlm from receiving the unsubscribe note.   We get
something like this on rare occasions.  In these cases the moderators
can trigger an unsubscribe of the user.


> Best regards,
> Peter

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