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7. Setting up a new moderated group

7. Setting up a new moderated group

This is very dependent on the news system employed (e.g., INN, C News, ANU). Refer to the documentation supplied as part of the news transport software for the specific steps required to set up a moderated group.

There are, however, a few general steps in common.

  1. Assure that the moderator has an active account on the system from which moderation will be performed. Create it if needed.
  2. Choose and install the submission aliases for the moderator. Two aliases are usually needed, one for receiving actual submissions, and another for receiving administrative requests. news.group.name → news-group-name & news-group-name-request
  3. Ensure that whatever server, filter or auto-reply software will be used by the moderator is available on the system. Install and test it if necessary.
  4. Install the forwarding entry for the moderated group into the mailpaths or moderators file, or equivalent.
  5. Finally, the group must be created and marked moderated, using the 'm' flag in the 'active' file. This is done using the tool appropriate for your news transport. (Eg: newsbin/maint/addgroup for C News or 'ctlinnd newgroup' for INN)

The same steps are used to moderate a pre-existing group which is being changed from un-moderated to moderated status.

If you have further questions, post them in news.software.b or news.admin.technical.

7.1. Submission aliases

When you set up your group you will need to establish two mail aliases, so that directly posted articles and emailed submissions can reach you.

  • The address for submissions to the list. It is better if this is not the name of the newsgroup itself, but something similarly descriptive. For example, comp.source.reviewed's address for submissions might be csr@host.domain
  • An address where requests and administrative information should be sent. Normally this address is “FOO-request” for submission address “FOO”. Using the example of comp.sources.reviewed above, the associated request list address would be csr-request@host.domain

Depending on the expected newsgroup and administrative volume, it may be appropriate to have both aliases point to the same place, while retaining the ability to reconfigure the destinations locally. You will need to notify the appropriate people to assure the mailpaths file is updated. Usenet moderators refer to Appendix A.

7.2. Email submission servers

If your group is to have multiple moderators then you might want to consider setting up a truly co-moderated group. This would be useful for high-volume newsgroups.

Greg Woods woods@ncar.ucar.edu has written a program to support multiple moderators. When mail is sent to the moderated group alias, it is routed by sendmail to the program, which randomly selects one of the list of moderators to handle the submission. The submission is then forwarded to that moderator. (The program is available in the moderators' tools archive.)

STUMP (Secure Team-based USENET Moderation Program) is a robomoderator allowing teams of moderators or individual moderators to moderate a newsgroup, via email or Web interface. STUMP allows for preapproved and banned lists, has built-in forgery protection, and a mechanism to automatically reject certain invalid messages. It requires no tools on the individual human moderators' machines. STUMP itself runs in a Unix account. It is currently used in many USENET newsgroups and is available from


See Section 10 for additional discussion of team moderation.

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