S.T.U.M.P. Robomoderator Program

``Making Moderation Easy''

If You Want To Propose a Moderated Newsgroup

If you plan to propose a new group (both alt and Big 8) and consider using STUMP robomoderator or ReadySTUMP site hosting, please read this.


If you plan on using ReadySTUMP hosting service and want to propose a newsgroup (both in alt.* and Big Eight), contact me (ichudov@algebra.com) before submitting a proposal. This can save you from submitting erroneous proposals and making easily fixable mistakes. The purpose of this is not to influence your moderation policy, but to make sure that ReadySTUMP-related technical aspects are spelled out properly. Your policy is your business.

If you plan on using my moderation bot STUMP and host it by yourselves on your own Unix machine, please review sample charters below and feel free to join the stump-users mailing list. To subscribe, send email to majordomo@algebra.com, saying "subscribe" in the body of the message

  From: your@email.address
  To: majordomo@algebra.com
  Subject: whatever

  subscribe stump-users
This is a list to help STUMP users maintain their moderation bots and cope with problems.

Useful Links


First of all, every moderated newsgroup needs a Charter. A Charter is like a constitution of a newsgroup. It spells out rules such as which articles are accepted and which are unacceptable, how moderators are replaced, and so on. All people in the newsgroup should abide by the charter. Charters do not have to be anything too fancy. Charters for alt newsgroups are generally simplier than charters for groups that go through a voting process. Feel free to use these examples of newsgroup charters to write your own.

Technical Aspects of Creating alt.* Newsgroups

If you want to use my ReadySTUMP hosting service for a moderated alt.* newsgroup: Generally, new moderators, regardless of which moderation service they want to use, have to to the following: To save moderators from a hassle of doing these tasks by themselves, I can create the newsgroup and request forwarding at no charge. It is included in the ReadySTUMP service.

Criticism of Your Proposal

When you propose an alt newsgroup, you have to post the proposal to alt.config for "review" by interested people. Expect to see criticism and suggestions. Remember that all criticism is only good for you, as it can help you avoid some major mistakes or misnaming your newsgroup. Ultimately, no amount of criticism can prevent you from creating any alt.* newsgroup you wish. Being friendly generally tends to attract good advice.

When you propose a Big Eight newsgroup (a soc.* or a sci.* or a rec.*, etc) newsgroup, remember that your proposal will have to pass through a lengthy discussion and voting process. You have to expect that a few people will make quite caustic comments about your proposal. Depending on your personality, this may or may not be pleasant, but it is to be expected. Consider this process a test of your determination to be a moderator. After all, moderators must be patient people to be effective, and the RFD/CFV process is one of the best tests of patience.


Rmgroup is a technical term, an abbreviation of "remove group". In the original USENET design, RMGROUPS were used to delete badly configured newsgroups. Due to widespread abuse and lack of built in authentication, Rmgroup messages are no longer effective and are widely ignored by all but most misconfigured news sites.

In the alt.* hierarchy, anyone can issue a rmgroup message, just as anyone can create a newsgroup.

There are a few self-approinted guardians of propriety, who watch all newsgroup messages and rmgroup those newly created newsgroups that they do not like. But, just as masturbation has not made anyone pregnant, rmgroup messages do not really have an effect on all newsgroups. If you see a rmgroup message that deletes your newsgroup, simply ignore it.