[NAFEX] ADMIN COMMENT: Moderating the list, banning subscribers, etc

NAFEX List nafexlist at hotmail.com
Sat Nov 6 15:27:33 EST 2004

Dear List:

There have been some questions raised about the civility of recent 
discourse, banning members, etc.  These are subjects that have come up in 
the past.  (See my response to similar events from June 2003, which is 
reproduced at the end of this message.)  I agree that some of the recent 
comments could have been framed in more courteous tones.

There are myriad problems associated with editting each message--this ain't 
a newspaper, and banning members would be difficult under the open 
subscription policy of this list.  I don't think it is impossible to set a 
minimum standard for civility, but it is difficult to implement in this 

I think the best solution is to ignore comments (or totally disregard all 
messages) from those who fail to meet your standard of discourse.  (Kinda 
the same effect as me banning them, eh?)  Are you really hurt by the 
comments of those you don't respect?  Are you worried that other people, who 
presumably have no ability to recognize a boor when they see one, will think 
poorly of you?

If you're new to the Internet, here's a newsflash:  not everything you read 
on the internet is true; sometimes people of varying sanity and civility 
post messages; sometimes people who's only intention is to express 
disagreement, do it in a way that strikes most people as inappropriate.

IF you're not new the Internet, and you choose to continue subscribing to 
this list, please do with the understanding that the list is unmoderated, 
with automatic subscription, and that editting will have to take place at 
the level of your mailbox.

best regards,

Greg Miller
list administrator (not moderator)

(For those wondering if I actually DO anything, I do have the pleasure of 
cleaning out the 20-40 spam-type messages that IBIBLIO intercepts each week 
for my 'action'.  Oh, and for free--not a complaint, just an observation.)

Here's the message that was posted on June 7, 2003

Subject:  [NAFEX] Is anyone steering the ship?

The list is unmoderated, and the administration, in case you hadn't
noticed, is fairly laisser faire.  While there is the ability to ban
people from the list, I think there is more being made of this whole thing
than is warranted.  I, too, have been wondering if I have been missing

I am sorry if anyone's feelings were hurt, but basically some gossip that
was intended as a private message got posted to the whole group.  I have
to admit I skimmed over most of these messages, but I think there was even
an apology about posting what was intended to be a private message to the

This is not the first time I have seen this happen on email lists,
although it has always been on other lists.  I guess I subscribe to
different lists, because I haven't seen anyone banned over it.

How about getting back to discussion of fruits and nuts?

(mostly lurking) administrator

>On other lists I am on the moderators have banned listers for less
>than this.

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