PGLister: How to Moderate

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PGLister is a mailing list management system designed to better address the needs of the PostgreSQL community. PGLister is updated to work with recent improvements in email technology and spam filtering as well as provide an easy-to-use interface to manage list access. The guide below explains how a moderator can manage lists assigned for moderation.

Before you moderate for this first time

In order to be assigned as a moderator to lists managed by PGLister, you must have logged into PGLister at least once. You can follow these steps to log in:

  1. Visit PGLister at
  2. Click on Manage Subscriptions. If your community account is already authenticated, then you will be logged into PGLister and redirected to the PGLister dashboard. You are now done.
  3. If your account is not authenticated, you will be redirect to the community login page. Please log in with your community credentials here.
    1. If you do not have a community account, you will need to register for one. Follow the steps to register a community account. When you are finished with sign up, return to Step 1 of this guide.
  4. If you successfully authenticate your account, you will be redirect to the PGLister Dashboard where you can manage your PostgreSQL mailing list subscriptions as well as moderate lists.
  5. If this is the first time you authenticated with PGLister and/or would like to request to be added as a moderator to a mailing list, please contact with your requests details.

Moderating Lists

If you are a moderator of any list on PGLister, you will have access to the moderation dashboard. You can find the link to the moderation dashboard underneath the "Manage lists" heading on the PGLister Dashboard. Click "Moderate / Manage Lists" to access to the moderation dashboard.

Below will break down each section in the moderation dashboard and how to moderate the mailing lists you help manage.

The "Moderation" Screen

When mailing lists that you moderate have messages that require review, they will appear in the "Moderation" section of the moderation moderation dashboard. As a moderator, you will also receive an email that provides several courses of action to take on the message. NOTE: THE EMAIL SENT TO MODERATORS REQUESTING MODERATION DOES NOT CONTAIN A MESSAGE PREVIEW. If you would like to preview the message before setting a course of action, you must visit the moderation dashboard to view the message preview. Please see below for instructions on how to do so.

Moderation Metadata

The metadata on a message queued for moderation contains the following information:

  • Date: When the message was sent
  • List: Which list the message was sent to (e.g. "pgsql-hackers")
  • Reason: The reason why the message is in the moderation queue (e.g. "sender is not a subscriber of any list)
  • Spam score: The spam score assigned by the local spamassassin system.

Moderation Message Info

The data contained in the "Message" section on the moderation dashboard includes the following:

  • From: The email address ending the message. Shows both From address and envelope sender if they differ.
  • Size: The size of the message (unsurprisingly)
  • Attachments: If there are any attachments, the number of attachments are listed here. If you click on the number, a popover box appears that contains a list of the attachments, their type and their size.
  • Subject: The subject of the message. If you click on "Subject," a popover box appears that contains a preview of the message. Based on the email client used to send the message, this can at times appear to be garbled text.
  • Message ID: Contains a URL that activates a popover with the message ID

Moderation Actions

The actions section determines what to do with the message. In other words, "Actions" comprises the moderator's decision with the message, such as whether or not it should be sent out to the list. Below is what each action does for a message:

  • Ignore: This is the default action. Ignore is a no-op: it does not perform any action on the message.
  • Approve: Approves the message to be sent to the list.
  • Whitelist: Both approve the message and add the sender's email address to the whitelist of that mailing list. NOTE: This means that a sender can ALWAYS send messages to the mailing list that are automatically approved without any moderation.
  • Discard: Removes the message from the moderation queue and does not send the message to the mailing list. The sender does not receive a notification that the message was not approved for sending. This is typically used for messages that are spam.
  • Reject submenu: Shows options for rejecting a message. A message is delivered to the sender and the message is removed from the moderation queue. This action does not send the message to the mailing list. The sender receives a notification that the message was not approved for sending as well as the reason why it was rejected. Please be polite with your responses: someone sending an email to the list may not be aware of the list policy, so try to point them to the correct reference.
    • Reject: Prompts the moderator to enter a reason for rejecting the message
    • Other submenu options: Sends a pre-defined standard message about rejection. The contents of the message can be shown by hovering the mouse over the option before selecting it.
  • Unsubscribe: Unsubscribes the sender from the list. This requires the sender to be identified as an active subscriber of the list.
  • Reject unsub: The same as reject, except the reason is set to a pre-canned message with full instructions for how to use the List headers to unsubscribe from a message. This is the appropriate choice when an unsubscribe request is received from a sender who is not identified as a subscriber of the list.

In order to finalize all the selected actions, a moderator must click Moderate at the bottom of the Moderation section.

Explaining the Moderation email

It is also possible to moderate messages from an email sent to moderators of a list. You will probably want to see a preview of the message before applying a moderation action, but fortunately you can do this from the email. All actions are the same as moderation actions described above, but as soon as you click on the URL, this action is taken. A few notes:

  • Preview: Brings you to a preview of the message. This opens up a tab in your browser with the contents of the message.

List Management Overview

The list management overview of the moderation screen is a list of the mailing lists that you moderate. If you click on one of the lists, you will be brought to the individual list management page.

List Management

The list management section of PGLister enables a moderator to perform the following actions:

  • View which email addresses are subscribed to the list. This also allows a moderator to unsubscribe email addresses from a list
  • Subscribe new email addresses to the list
  • Whitelist email addresses that are always allowed to post messages to the list


The view/unsubscribe portion of the list manager allows a moderator to see who is subscribed to a mailing list and have the option of unsubscribing those email addresses.

There is a box that allows for a moderator to search for an email address. If nothing is typed into the box, then all email addresses subscribed to that list are displayed in the next view. From there, a moderator can view the email addresses that are subscribed to the list as well as unsubscribe these particular email addresses.


The subscribe section allows a moderator to subscribe an email address to the list. If you are adding an email address using this method, please be sure that the owner of the email address has given you permission to do so as the email address will automatically be subscribed to the mailing list without any additional confirmation.


The whitelist section allows a moderator to manage email addresses that can always post to the particular email list without moderator approval. A moderator can also remove email addresses from the whitelist too. Please use this feature carefully. If you have any questions on how the whitelist works, please send an email to