MODERATING Mailing Lists

Quick Menu:

I forgot my list MODERATION password, what should I do?

You need to contact the administrator of your list. He/she can't tell you the old password, but can give you a new one. If you do not know whom the administrator of your mailing list is, just do the following:

1) Direct your web browser to

2) Click on the name of the mailing list which you are moderator of.

3) Scroll down the bottom of that list info page.

4) On the left side you will find the email adress(es) of the administrator(s) as a linked text in an obscured way. If you click this link you will realize that you can simply send email to (where "YOURMAILINGLIST" needs to be replaced by the name of your mailing list, of course).

If you do not receive a reply by the list admin within at least three days then send an email on this to Note down how long you have been waiting for the mailing list administrator to respond to your request, how long you have not had contact any with this person altogether, the exact name of the mailing list you moderate and whether you would like to take over the list administration or know of somebody who would like to do this (this is actually not more work than you had so far but you will gain full control of the settings of the mailing list) and knows what it takes.

We will then send you a new moderation password and try to get in contact with the current mailing list administrator to reactivate him.

If he does not reply within a reasonable amount of time we will be back to you concerning the list administration takeover in case you indicated you are interested in this. Or we will be back to the person you referred to for this job or look for somebody else to do it.

How to automatically discard any messages that are marked as spam off the moderation queue?

Please read the below (slightly modified) answer Matt from Listwork sent in response to this question on April 11, 2005.

This question comes up often. Actually, we do automatically discard the vast majority of spam flagged by SpamAssassin, the program which tags emails as (possible) spam.

You can see statistics for one day's worth of mail here:

We only hold for moderation those messages which SpamAssassin scores below a certain value (which is a very small fraction of overall spam received). Setting it down even lower would risk false positives, i.e. emails, which are incorrectly tagged as spam, being discarded.

And this may be easier to do now that we have a learning bayesian filter rule running for SpamAssassin (SpamAssassin more or less teaches itself abot how to better recognize spam), which will hopefully bring down the scores of legitimate emails.

Unfortunately given the sheer volume of spam, we will never be able to catch it all with software so lists will either have to deal with spam on them, or have moderators willing to eyeball a small fraction of the messages that we can't sort automatically. I only hope we can reduce that number, but we can't eliminate it.

Eventually we will be able to set SpamAssassin settings on a per-list basis, but for now we're limited to a site-wide discard threshold and hold threshold.

Anyway, a lot of moderators feel like they have to moderate all of the spam a list receives, because it feels like so much (I know, I moderate imc-tech and see 5-10 per day in the moderation queue -- but the list actually gets around 50 per day). But the root problem is that we receive so much spam that even a small fraction of it seems like too much for one person. A good solution is to find multiple moderators.

I have another question concerning the MODERATION of a mailing list which is not answered here. Is there another place?

Yes. Have a look at the list manager manual of GNU Mailman, our mailing list server software. If this still does not answer your question, please send your question to

-- JiBe - 02 Jan 2004

-- AlsteR - 21 Jan 2005 - removed RT, updates
Topic revision: r6 - 19 May 2006, AlsteR
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Foswiki? Send feedback