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computers / news.admin.hierarchies / RFD: Charter/moderation policy change, news.groups.proposals

o RFD: Charter/moderation policy change, news.groups.proposalsUsenet Big-8 Management Board

Subject: RFD: Charter/moderation policy change, news.groups.proposals
From: Usenet Big-8 Managem
Newsgroups: news.groups.proposals, news.groups, news.announce.newgroups, news.admin.hierarchies
Followup: news.groups.proposals
Organization: Usenet Big-8 Management Board
Date: Fri, 20 May 2022 12:31 UTC
From: (Usenet Big-8 Management Board)
Newsgroups: news.groups.proposals,news.groups,news.announce.newgroups,news.admin.hierarchies
Subject: RFD: Charter/moderation policy change, news.groups.proposals
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Date: Fri, 20 May 2022 08:31:09 EDT
Organization: Usenet Big-8 Management Board
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                       REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
                  moderated group news.groups.proposals

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) to suspend the charter and moderation policy of the Usenet newsgroup news.groups.proposals.


The unmoderated news.groups newsgroup (formerly known as historically served as the main venue for discussion of potential new newsgroups.  These discussions were sometimes difficult to follow due to noise, flames, sporgeries, poorly tagged or structured proposals, etc. As a result of these issues, the moderated group news.groups.proposals was created in November 2006.  According to its creation RFD, the group was intended to serve as a "healthy environment where ideas can be raised, discussed, and developed" without the disruption of "personal attacks, flames, and other inappropriate content".

news.groups.proposals now serves as the sole "official" venue for all discussions pertaining to existing or potential proposals to create, remove, or modify newsgroups in the Big-8 hierarchies (comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, and talk).  What this means in practice is that while anyone is free to discuss RFDs elsewhere on Usenet, there is no guarantee that the Big-8 Management Board will monitor those discussions.


The Big-8 Management Board proposes to redesignate the unmoderated news.groups newsgroup as the sole "official" venue for all public discussions pertaining to existing or potential proposals to create, remove, or modify newsgroups in the Big-8 hierarchies.  (Again, by "official" we mean only that the Board is guaranteed to monitor discussions there; users are of course free to hold discussions elsewhere.)  The Board would update its public documentation relating to Big-8 workflows and policies accordingly, and the charter and moderation policy for news.groups.proposals would be indefinitely suspended. Thenceforth all submissions to news.groups.proposals would be automatically rejected with an explanatory note referring to the outcome of this RFD and with a suggestion to resubmit to news.groups.

Provided news.groups remains a viable venue, the Board may eventually issue a subsequent RFD to remove news.groups.proposals.  Otherwise, the Board may issue a subsequent RFD to restore the status quo ante.


Since 2006, the Big-8 hierarchies have undergone an overall reduction in their active user base and article traffic.  The news.groups newsgroup has followed this general trend; the past few years have seen some measure of spam and other off-topic messages, but little of the acrimonious content that was the main impetus behind the creation of news.groups.proposals.  There is therefore reason to believe that news.groups could once again function as "a healthy environment" for the discussion of RFDs.

By contrast, in the past few years news.groups.proposals has had problems of its own, mostly stemming from its convoluted and antiquated moderation system.  Many submissions have gone missing or unnoticed by the moderators due to breakdowns in the submission pipeline.  While the current Board members have been working to streamline and modernize the moderation system they inherited, and to put better fault detection and prevention measures in place, there is always the risk of further unexpected technical issues.  Technical issues aside, the Board sees no need to act as gatekeepers for discussions that are, by and large, civil and constructive.

Although it would be technically possible to designate both news.groups and news.groups.proposals as "co-official" venues for the discussion of RFDs, there are obvious benefits to keeping discussions centralized.


Those who wish to influence the development of this RFD and its final resolution should subscribe to news.groups.proposals and participate in the relevant threads there.  To this end, the followup header of this RFD has been set to news.groups.proposals.

Alternatively, comments may be sent to the Board privately by e-mail at  The Board may summarize such comments in subsequent iterations of this RFD but will not disclose the identities of the commenters without their express permission.


Home page for news.groups.proposals:

Charter for news.groups.proposals:

FAQ for news.groups.proposals:

Moderation policy for news.groups.proposals:

RFD for creation of news.groups.proposals:

General information on news.groups:

History of news.groups:


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:



Usenet Big-8 Management Board <>


2022-05-20  1st RFD

Usenet Big-8 Management Board

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