Rules for Group Management

The goal of each of our groups is to create and maintain helpful user communities. The following policies have been established for Low End Mac’s Google Groups. They may be revised as necessary.

Dan Knight, group owner

Terms in italic type are defined within this document.


  • Ban. When a member is banned, the email address is retained on the server, prohibited from posting to the list, and blocked from receiving messages from the group. We view banning as a last resort, and it is possible for us to reverse a ban if we have acted in error.
  • Block. When a member is blocked, the email address will continue to receive messages from the group, but the member is prohibited from posting to the group.
  • Flame. Incendiary postings, these often involving name calling.
  • Global ban. A permanent ban from all our groups. Global bans are rare.
  • Group owner. The top level group manager.
  • Group nanny. An assistant to the list owner, also called a group manager or assistant group manager.
  • Moderate. Google Groups gives group managers a useful, easily accessed tool – switching a member to moderated mode. Moderation is used for infractions of rules and netiquette that don’t call for banning, such as continued excessive quoting and overly long sigs.
  • Off topic. Anything not covered by the primary focus of the group. In general, computer, OS, software, and peripherals questions are on topic. So is discussion of the group and group policies. Religion, politics, automotive preference, and the price of gasoline are a few things considered off topic. Pro-Windows postings fall under the category of trolling.
  • Temporary block/ban. Usually a 72-hour cooling off period during which you are blocked from posting to the group.
  • Troll. To throw out a topic in hopes of beginning a flame war, such as stating that Windows is great and Macs suck.

Grounds for Action

  • Posting the URL for Apple service manuals or for a page linking directly to Apple service manuals. Please share this information privately; posting it on the list is likely to lead to the information being moved or removed.
  • Trolling or flaming. This includes heaping abuse on the group managers either on the list or privately.
  • Continuing a discussion long after is has been closed by the a group manager. (We realize that you may not receive and read the message ending discussion immediately.)
  • Blatantly offensive or excessively long signatures (anything over 10 lines is excessive, and 6 lines or less is better).
  • Blocking email from the list owner or managers.
  • Using an “opt in” antispam service that requires members to confirm their email addresses if they want to correspond with you off the list.

Responsibilities of Group Managers

  • The group managers are responsible for encouraging good citizenship within our groups by reminding members of the rules and taking whatever action is appropriate and necessary to deal with disruptive members. Most of this action takes place behind the scenes.
  • We will send personal notes to those who don’t follow the guidelines established in the list FAQ, netiquette page, and policies page. (Members may receive such reminders from more than one of us. If that happens, we’re not trying to pick on you. It’s just a consequence of having managers in different parts of the world accessing the groups on different schedules.)
  • We recognize that not everyone receives and reads their email immediately, so we provide some leeway for dangling threads on closed topics.
  • The group managers generally confer by email, both privately between the managers of a specific list and globally on a closed list set up for group managers, when there are doubts about the most fitting response to a situation.
  • Except for cases that demand immediate action, the managers will confer before banning or blocking an email address. In immediate response cases, we will let others who oversee the group know of our actions.
  • In situations that call for immediate action, group managers may step in on a group where they are not designated as an official manager.
  • We will always notify those who are moderated, blocked, or banned, explain why we have taken this action, and tell them how long the penalty will be in effect.
  • We will let the other group managers know when someone had been banned and why we have taken that action.
  • Global banning is reserved for those who consistently troll, flame, go way off topic, or persist in other actions that are disruptive to the community. Such banning is extremely rare and may carry over to future subscription attempts by the same individual using other email addresses or attempting to join other Low End Mac groups. Banning is almost always handled on an individual list basis.

Responsibilities of Members

  • Read the list FAQ/policies page and netiquette page – and follow the rules of the group.
  • Understand that you may receive reminders from more than one manager when you break the rules.
  • Understand that blocking or bouncing emails from any group manager is grounds for banning. We must be able to contact you to do our jobs.
  • Take it seriously when a group manager declares a thread closed for further discussion. We recognize that you won’t know it until you read the posting closing the topic, but once you’ve read that posting, drop it.
  • Bannings may be reversed on appeal. State your case clearly and send it to the list manager who banned you. Don’t call us names; flaming group managers is one of the leading causes of permanent banning. If a manager rejects your appeal, you may bring your case to the list owner.