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.
- The appropriate AD(s) must approve of a list being moderated.
- 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.
- Messages should be accepted or rejected in whole; selective editing of messages to remove off-topic content is not permitted.
- When rejecting a note, a note must be returned to the author with a short explanation.
- Rejected notes should be saved for a reasonable period of time, so that there is a record in the event a dispute arises.
- 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).