List Policies for Discussion Forums

Your list policies determine which options your list supports. You can designate a list to "share" its basic policies, which means it will use the settings you've created as Shared Settings, or they can be set on an individual list basis. Find out more about Shared Settings

Message Policies 

Click Tracking and Safe Mode screenshot

Open/Click Tracking lets us keep track of user engagement. By default, it is active. (Note: this tracking is never used on plain text messages, as the URL rewriting it requires is disorienting to list subscribers.)

Safe Mode allows you to send test messages via email (the composer has its own built-in method for sending test messages.) This setting is meant to be switched to "Safe" during a test period, then returned to "Normal".

How will messages be sent to the list? sets the basic posting policies for your list. Discussion forums should always be set to "All Subscribers can send email". 

Message Moderation lets you choose to have all list messages sent to your list administrators for approval before distribution to your subscribers. We generally recommend "do not moderate". However, if your list has more than 200 subscribers or you're discussing sensitive topics where a review of the message pre-distribution would be appropriate, you may prefer to moderate. Turning on moderation if there has recently been an argument or flurry of messages on the list can also be a good way to keep the peace, and slow the traffic for a few days. If your discussion forum has more than 500 subscribers, moderation is required.

Mail from Non-Subscribers is set, by default, to discard messages from addresses who are not subscribed to your list, because nearly all of it will end up being spam. If your list subscribers tend to reply to messages from addresses other than the ones they used to subscribe or CC non-members who also respond to the list, you may wish to switch this to "Replies to list messages are held; otherwise, discard it". If making sure no potential list messages are lost is very important to you, "Hold it for review" is the appropriate setting to use.

Member Policies

Member policies screenshot

Subscriber Policy determines if people need your approval to be added to the list. For most lists, you should set your subscriber policy to Anyone can join. However, if your list discusses a sensitive topic, if you charge people to be members of your list, if you want to ask new subscribers questions before they join, or you have any other restrictions on who can receive your mail, you may prefer to select Send requests to listowners for approval.

This option only affects subscriptions that come from the HTML subscription form we provide. As a logged-in account administrator, You can always add new subscribers to your list using the importer or the Quick Add/Remove box on the Subscribers page.

We can also send you an email when someone joins the list. We recommend leaving this off; a weekly report that includes new subscribers is also sent. However, if you like to keep a close eye on your membership, you may want to turn this on.

Subscriber Archives make old messages available on the web to your subscribers. We recommend selecting "Keep Private Archives" if your list is a discussion forum, or "Don't Keep Archives For This List" if your list discusses sensitive or private information. Public archives are appropriate for lists that are considered reference or resource material accessed  by a larger community than just list members. Get more details on Archive options.

Digest Subscriptions let subscribers choose a single compilation of all list messages (per day or per week.) By default, digests are offered to subscribers of discussion forums. If your discussion forum posts less than once per day, you may wish to remove the digest option. Lists that receive a large volume of mail (more than 20 messages a day) may wish to recommend digest subscriptions for their members.

Subscriber Content Restrictions

Posting Restrictions lets you limit messages by content. Messages sent by subscribers which violate these policies will be sent to you for review. If your non-subscriber policy is set to hold, it will cause mail from non-subscribers to be trashed. For most discussion forums, you will not need any of these settings.

Message Attachments is set, by default, to block executable attachments, because they can contain viruses. If your subscribers are sensitive to attachments in general, though, you can switch this to "block any attachments".

Out-of-office / Unsubscribe Messages is set, by default, to block out-of-office or unsubscribe requests. We never recommend turning this off, but you can.

Maximum message size is set, by default, to the Listbox maximum. You may reduce this size if your subscribers are sensitive to receiving lots of attachments.  The Listbox maximum is based on the number of subscribers on your list.  Lists with 100 or fewer subscribers may send messages up to 10MB in size.  Lists with 500 or fewer subscribers may send messages up to 5MB in size.  Lists with more than 500 subscribers may send messages up to 2MB in size, or a total of 15GB of traffic per message, whichever is lower.

Prohibited Words can allow you to flag content that is contentious to your subscribers.


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