List Owner's Responsibilities

A list owner is entrusted with its members’ personal information (email address and name), and this carries certain responsibilities with regards to ensuring privacy and security. You must determine what level of security is most appropriate for your list. For example, a closed family list where all members know each other personally may be set to Review=Private (any list member may get the list of all subscribed addresses), but any list with subscriptions open to the public should be set to Review=Owners. A hobby discussion list may operate with relaxed security and deal with transgressions as they occur, but a commercial newsletter must have very tight security as any breach will reflect poorly on the department/organization’s reputation. On an open discussion list, subscribers are aware that the discussion may sometimes stray off the topic, whereas on a moderated list they expect that you will exercise more control over what gets posted. On a one-way list, subscribers will hold you responsible for every posting.

As the owner of the list, it is your responsibility to:
  • Understand your list’s configuration.
  • Let subscribers know what they can expect from the list when they sign up.
  • Help subscribers subscribe and sign off.
  • Assist subscribers when they have difficulties with the list.
  • Prevent abuse of the list by third parties. For example, always require subscription confirmations on open lists, prevent outside access to subscriber email addresses (Review=Owner), and require confirmation of all postings to one-way lists (Send=…,Confirm).
  • Receive and review all mail sent to the listname-request address. This address is publicized as the way to get in touch with the list owner when a subscriber or potential subscriber requires assistance.


This article is part of the Getting Started with Managing a LISTSERV Mailing List (Owners) article.
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Article ID: 1072
Created: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 8:39am
Modified: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 4:26pm