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What do I do with messages that "need my approval"?

If you are a moderator for a mailing list, you are likely to receive a message from the Mailman system asking you to deal with a message that has been held for approval.

The message (which will have come from the apparent owner of the mailing list) will look something like this:

As list administrator/moderator, your authorization is requested for the following mailing list posting:

    Subject: Any subject
    Reason:  Post by non-member to a members-only list

At your convenience, visit:
to approve or deny the request.

If you click on the web address provided, this will open up the moderator's page for your mailing list.   You will need to enter the moderator's password (not your own personal password) to gain entry.

You'll then be shown a page giving details of the held message, a link to read the message content, and the various options available to you.

  • If you choose to Accept the message, it will then be delivered to your mailing list.
  • If you choose to Reject the message, it will be sent back to the sender with a rejection note.  We strongly advise you not to use this for spam.
  • If you choose to Discard the message, it will be silently thrown away without any notice to the sender. This is the best way to handle spam.
  • The Defer option merely leaves the held message where it is for the time being.

There are other useful options on the page, including an option to make a moderated list member unmoderated (so that their postings will be accepted automatically in future).

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This is question number 1223, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 19 June 2006 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 29 September 2016