A moderated UseNet newsgroup is one in which all of the posts go first to an email address. The posts are then forwarded to a moderator or moderators who decide whether the posts should be added to the newsgroup. This decision is typically based on whether or not the posts meet the newsgroups charter.
When UseNet Moderators Might Be Necessary
Moderators are used to uphold the integrity of the newsgroup so that no inappropriate or irrelevant material gets posted. In popular newsgroups, moderation is also important to make sure that information isn’t repeated. The role of the moderator should NOT be for censorship or even for controlling the flow of the discussion so that it goes towards a predetermined goal. In order to avoid censorship or abuse of moderation powers, it is important that a newsgroup clearly outlines its posting policy in its charter.
According to the NetNews Moderators Handbook written in 1996 by K Landfield, there are five main reasons why newsgroups are monitored.
1. Newsgroups which have information from the same small group of posters and the information is not suitable for discussion, such as newsgroups in the news. Subcategories lists, announce.newusers.
2. Subcategories of popular newsgroups; the moderation is needed to help keep the information high-quality and relevant while keeping the volume low.
3. Newsgroups which were created after a group was abused
4. Newsgroups which are meant to give feedback directly to groups located offline
5. Newsgroups which have gateways into UseNet from an email list
Moderators are expected to send back any rejected posts to the author and explain why that post was not approved. In newsgroups where the moderation approval/rejection process takes a long time, such as several weeks, it is good policy for moderators to inform authors when their article has been or will be posted.
How Do I Know if a Newsgroup is Moderated?
Moderated newsgroups use software programs which mark the articles before they get posted. Usually, the moderated articles will have a header marked with ”Approved:”.