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From: Usenet Big-8 Management Board <>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2022 16:37:20 +0200
Newsgroups: news.groups.proposals,news.announce.newgroups,news.groups,news.admin.hierarchies
Archive-Name: news.groups.proposals
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Subject: RESULT: no change to news.groups.proposals


No change will be made to the charter or moderation policy of 

The Last Call for Comments (LCC) on 2022-06-27 initiated a five-day 
period for final comments on the proposal to suspend the charter and 
moderation policy of the Usenet newsgroup news.groups.proposals. 
Following this comment period, the Big-8 Management Board has decided by 
unanimous vote not to change the charter or moderation policy of 


The unmoderated news.groups newsgroup (formerly known as 
historically served as the main venue for discussion of potential new 
newsgroups.  These discussions were sometimes difficult to follow due to 
noise, flames, sporgeries, poorly tagged or structured proposals, etc. 
As a result of these issues, the moderated group news.groups.proposals 
was created in November 2006.  According to its creation RFD, the group 
was intended to serve as a "healthy environment where ideas can be 
raised, discussed, and developed" without the disruption of "personal 
attacks, flames, and other inappropriate content".

news.groups.proposals now serves as the sole "official" venue for all 
discussions pertaining to existing or potential proposals to create, 
remove, or modify newsgroups in the Big-8 hierarchies (comp, humanities, 
misc, news, rec, sci, soc, and talk).  What this means in practice is 
that while anyone is free to discuss RFDs elsewhere on Usenet, there is 
no guarantee that the Big-8 Management Board will monitor those discussions.


The Big-8 Management Board proposes to redesignate the unmoderated 
news.groups newsgroup as the sole "official" venue for all public 
discussions pertaining to existing or potential proposals to create, 
remove, or modify newsgroups in the Big-8 hierarchies.  (Again, by 
"official" we mean only that the Board is guaranteed to monitor 
discussions there; users are of course free to hold discussions 
elsewhere.)  The Board would update its public documentation relating to 
Big-8 workflows and policies accordingly, and the charter and moderation 
policy for news.groups.proposals would be indefinitely suspended. 
Thenceforth all submissions to news.groups.proposals would be 
automatically rejected with an explanatory note referring to the outcome 
of this RFD and with a suggestion to resubmit to news.groups.

Provided news.groups remains a viable venue, the Board may eventually 
issue a subsequent RFD to remove news.groups.proposals.  Otherwise, the 
Board may issue a subsequent RFD to restore the status quo ante.


Since 2006, the Big-8 hierarchies have undergone an overall reduction in 
their active user base and article traffic.  The news.groups newsgroup 
has followed this general trend; the past few years have seen some 
measure of spam and other off-topic messages, but little of the 
acrimonious content that was the main impetus behind the creation of 
news.groups.proposals.  There is therefore reason to believe that 
news.groups could once again function as "a healthy environment" for the 
discussion of RFDs.

By contrast, in the past few years news.groups.proposals has had 
problems of its own, mostly stemming from its convoluted and antiquated 
moderation system.  Many submissions have gone missing or unnoticed by 
the moderators due to breakdowns in the submission pipeline.  While the 
current Board members have been working to streamline and modernize the 
moderation system they inherited, and to put better fault detection and 
prevention measures in place, there is always the risk of further 
unexpected technical issues.  Technical issues aside, the Board sees no 
need to act as gatekeepers for discussions that are, by and large, civil 
and constructive.

Although it would be technically possible to designate both news.groups 
and news.groups.proposals as "co-official" venues for the discussion of 
RFDs, there are obvious benefits to keeping discussions centralized.


D Finnigan argues that aside from occasional technical difficulties, 
news.groups.proposals is working fine, in contrast with news.groups, 
which is cluttered with off-topic posts.  They recommend that the Board 
continue its work on improving the moderation system.

Paul Schleck suspects that the off-topic spam posts to news.groups may 
be putting off people from posting there.  He also wonders whether 
returning configging discussion to news.groups would provide people with 
an unrestricted forum to advance fallacious arguments about moderated 
newsgroups.  Furthermore, he argues that the problems that led to the 
creation of news.groups.proposals could emerge again even in a smaller 
Usenet, and that the purely technical issues with moderation software 
are solvable.

Computer Nerd Kev says that as long as there's still spam on 
news.groups, then keeping discussions moderated is worthwhile.  They 
also draw attention to disruptive troll posting on alt.config.

meff expresses concern about what would happen if the moderators became 
unavailable. Given the current posting levels and the ability of current 
users to filter messages, they tend to agree with the proposal in the RFD.

Steve Bonine feels that the creation of news.groups.proposals was a 
"lesser of two evils" decision and that the group worked well for its 
intended purpose, but nowadays the volume in news.groups is vanishingly 
low, and so the concerns about the Board not wanting to follow 
discussions there no longer exist.

Plain Text supports the proposal, since they find it easy to filter out 
the spam from news.groups, and in any case they favour a reduction in 
the number of newsgroups.

Matija Nalis supports preserving the status quo because changing it (or 
more specifically, documenting and publicizing that change, and getting 
everyone to comply with it) is time-consuming and error-prone. He 
suggests technical improvements to avoid the previous moderation issues.


Home page for news.groups.proposals: 

Charter for news.groups.proposals: 

FAQ for news.groups.proposals: 

Moderation policy for news.groups.proposals: 

RFD for creation of news.groups.proposals: 

General information on news.groups: <>

History of news.groups: 


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:



Usenet Big-8 Management Board <>


2022-05-20: 1st RFD
2022-06-13: 2nd RFD
2022-06-27: LCC
2022-07-08: Result: no change to news.groups.proposals

Usenet Big-8 Management Board