From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: The Big-8 Management Board <>
Subject: 3rd RFD: news.groups.policy (LAST CALL FOR COMMENTS)
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups.proposals
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 16:37:45 -0500

                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of the
unmoderated Usenet newsgroup, news.groups.policy.


The B8MB plans to begin voting on this proposal after five days.  Please
offer any final discussion or comments before the end of this waiting
period.  Voting may take up to one week (7 days); a result will be posted
following the end of the voting period.

All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups.proposals.

The full group creation procedure is documented here:

NEWSGROUPS LINE: news.groups.policy

news.groups.policy	Discussion of Big 8 newsgroup policy.


Many persons were concerned that the toxic atmosphere of news.groups
would simply move to news.groups.policy, and suggested that
news.groups.policy be moderated.  When I suggested a possible scheme
for robo-moderation that would not consider content, many were
concerned that it was the same.  Those who wanted content-based
moderation would not be satisfied.  Those who did not want any
moderation would not be satisfied.  Robo-moderation was not acceptable
to anyone, and I have retained the original proposal for an
unmoderated group.  A moderated news.groups.policy is off the table.

I think most people misunderstood that the gist of my proposal was to
combined all policy discussion in a single group.  It was as much
about moving policy discussion out of news.groups.proposals as it was
moving it out of news.groups.

Moderation is simply not suitable for policy discussion.  The fact
that some policy discussion is about a formal proposal does not change
that fact.  When I attempted to address comments made in news.groups,
I was unable to do so.  First the moderators would not permit
cross-posts.  Then they would not permit me to post a reply in
news.groups.proposals to a post made in news.groups.  Finally they
would not permit me to simply refer to a posting in news.groups.  The
best that they have offered is that I could summarize posts made in
news.groups in a subsequent RFD.  That is not discussion.

Because of this misunderstanding of the primary purpose of
news.groups.policy, I am removing any suggestions that general policy
discussion or any other discussion be moved to news.groups.policy.  To
that end, I have removed news.groups from the Newsgroups header of
this RFD, and will not respond to any discussion of this RFD in

The only discussion that would be moved is discussion and development
of policy proposals, both formal and informal, that is currently held
in news.groups.policy.

In addition, the moderator of news.announce.newgroups will continue to
have the option of directing proposals with policy implications to
news.groups.proposals, if he believes that the discussion will benefit
from the civility and protective nature of news.groups.proposals.
Similarly, the moderators of news.groups.proposals may continue to
approve discussion of informal proposals that have policy

RATIONALE: news.groups.policy

When news.groups.proposals was created, it was intended primarily for
discussion of formal proposals to create, rename, and remove
newsgroups in the Big 8.  But it was also designated as a place for
discussing formal proposals that would modify the Big 8, such as
policy proposals.

The nature of group proposals (ie creation, removal, re-organizations,
renaming, etc.) tends to be different than that of policy proposals.
The group proposal discussions are typically short-lived and result in
a simple decision to create or remove a group.

Policy proposals are often difficult to distinguish from ongoing
policy discussion that has been going on for years or even decades. As
such, moderation is often not suitable for policy discussion.

Removal of discussion of policy proposals from news.groups.proposals
will simplify the moderation of news.groups.proposals, and allow the
discussion and development of policy proposals in an unmoderated


The unmoderated newsgroup news.groups.policy is used for the
unoderated discussion and development of policy proposals regarding
the Big-8 newsgroups.  Related topics, such as the history of the
Big-8 and Usenet, traffic statistics, the viability of newsgroups vs.
alternatives, etc. may also may be discussed if they are related to
actual or potential policy proposals.

Note, it is understood that in some cases, policy proposals may
include provisions that would create or otherwise modify newsgroups.
This RFD is an example of a proposal that is primarily about policy,
though it would create a newsgroup to effect that policy.

Policy discussion may include formal proposals that would change the
policy and procedures of management of the Big 8 hierarchies.  To that
end, discussion of formal policy proposals should occur in
news.groups.policy.  However, to maintain maximum flexibility, the
proponent of a formal policy proposal may, with the consent of the
moderators of news.announce.newgroups and news.groups.proposals,
direct that discussion of his proposal occur in the moderated
news.groups.proposals rather than the unmoderated news.groups.policy.

Similarly, the moderators of news.groups.proposals may continue to
approve discussion of informal proposals with policy implications.

In general, the moderators of news.groups.proposals should discourage
cross-posting of discussion between news.groups.proposals and


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:

  news.announce.newgroups (moderated)
  news.groups.proposals (moderated)


Jim Riley <>


2007-10-10     1st RFD
2007-10-17     2nd RFD
2007-10-25     3rd RFD/LCC