IESG Guidance on the Moderation of IETF Working Group Mailing Lists

Date: Aug 2000

In some cases, it is necessary and appropriate to moderate IETF mailing lists. For example, moderation might be needed to control excessive spam, persistent off-topic postings, persistent personal attacks, etc. on mailing lists. The IESG has devised the following set of guidelines for the moderation of mailing lists.

  1. The appropriate AD(s) must approve of a list being moderated.
  2. The WG should be kept informed of a mailing list's moderation policy. For example, a message could be posted to the mailing list on a regular basis, or new members could be sent the policy as part of the welcome message when subscribing.
  3. Messages should be accepted or rejected in whole; selective editing of messages to remove off-topic content is not permitted.
  4. When rejecting a note, a note must be returned to the author with a short explanation.
  5. Rejected notes should be saved for a reasonable period of time, so that there is a record in the event a dispute arises.
  6. Items 3-5 apply to all manually rejected messages that require some thinking on the part of the moderator. They do not apply to obvious off-topic "make money fast" messages, or messages rejected through generic automated means (i.e., automated spam-filters on mailing list software).