TPUUF “Webvine” Email Distribution List Policy

(Approved by the Board of Trustees August 4, 2010)

The TPUUF email distribution list, known as the “webvine”, is run by the Moderator Team of the communications committee.  All of the Webvine moderators are members of this committee and meet our list of qualifications (see the list below). Our moderators work as a team to help ensure high quality communication for the TPUUF Webvine email list members.  In doing this, they adhere to the list of moderator duties at the end of this document.

Posting to the webvine is a privilege open to members and friends in good standing who abide by the rules of the list.  All users of the webvine are expected to be familiar with these rules.  Requesting to be added to the list implies agreement to follow these rules.  To have a name added to the Webvine e-list, emails can be sent to [email protected].

Webvine Rules & Etiquette
  1. Email Etiquette:
    • Use of the TPUUF private e-mail list is a privilege to be used with respect.
    • E-mail recipients should not alter or selectively edit the messages in the e-mails and/or forward them to others outside the list.
    • The TPUUF e-mail list is for information purposes, and is not intended to be a forum for discussion or open debates.
    • If you feel that you have had a post rejected in error, please contact the Webvine moderator directly. He or she will be happy to explain why your email was rejected.
  1. Email Rules
    • Emails must be sent with at least 24-hours notice before they need to be posted. Last minute postings are not the fault or responsibility of the Webvine moderator.
    • No more than two emails pertaining to any given topic will be posted in one week.
    • Emails should be sent to only one of the TPUUF distribution lists in order to reduce duplicative emailing.
    • Emails should fall into one or more of the following categories:
      • Emails that deal with TPUUF internal business such as events, meeting announcements, committee and board minutes and building closings.
      • Events that are sponsored by TPUUF and activities that are being undertaken by a TPUUF committee, but that may be happening off-site.
      • Emails may also include announcements of speakers and events happening in the broader community outside of TPUUF that promote Unitarian Universalism (e.g., announcements of events at other UU churches)
  • The following items are not allowed and emails containing them will not be posted:
    • Signature lines that contain any information other than name and contact information for the sender (this includes: quotes, business info, etc.)
    • Emails that advertise items of special interest that are happening outside of the TPUUF community, such as community news, Social Action events or news items or Arts & Culture events. These items should be posted to the appropriate e-list.
    • Complaints about anything (our Webvine is not the forum for complaints)
    • ALL CAPS/angry email
    • Conversations – this is a system for delivering information; not for starting conversations
    • Political content
    • Personal opinions
    • News articles
    • Divisive comments or issues
    • Replies to the entire group that actually need to go just to the original sender
    • Personal ads, personal news (please post these to the community news list or the Good Vibrations list)
  • The following items are not allowed and, if sent to the Webvine, require action on the part of the communications committee:
    • “Flame” emails – This includes angry, abusive, or aggressive e-mails and e-mails in ALL CAPS.
    • Emails with offensive content, including emails that contain rude comments or inappropriate comments about other people
    • Spam
  1. Notable Exceptions to these rules:
  • Notification of the death of a member of the community
  • Emergency situations – only real emergencies qualify here: safety, health, weather-related closings, etc.
  1. Removal from the Webvine Email Distribution List
    • At any time, individuals may contact the e-list administrator by sending an email to the Webvine or by contacting [email protected] to request the removal of their name from the distribution list.
    • The e-mail administrator will be notified by the Membership Committee when it has been determined, through the process prescribed in the Bylaws, that a Member is to be moved to Inactive. In this process, the Membership Committee will also ask the person if they would like to have their name removed from the e-mail distribution list.

The Webvine email list rules are standardized for everyone and they are applied equally to everyone.  They are not negotiable.  The two exceptions to this are the minister and the president of the congregation who are non-moderated posters and may post news that they deem important to the congregation.

The moderators are experienced members of the fellowship.  They have been entrusted with the task of making sure that Webvine content is consistent and appropriate. Badgering of email moderators regarding their decisions (badgering consists of consistently or constantly questioning the moderator’s decisions) is not appreciated or tolerated.

Emails that Require Communications Committee Action:

If a person posts an email that includes a “flame”, offensive content or spam, the email moderator will contact the communications committee chair to report the incident.  The following procedures will be followed:

  • Flame Emails: attempting to post an email flame, or sending an email flame to a Webvine moderator or anyone on the communications committee regarding the Webvine or the moderator(s) will result in the sender having his/her posting privileges revoked for a period of time as noted below.
    • 1st offense: posting privileges suspended for a two-week period after their first offense.
    • 2nd offense within six months of the first offense: the sender will have their posting privileges revoked for a period of one year, with the clock starting on the day that the offending email was sent. This will happen after a review by the communications committee
  • Offensive Content: attempting to post an email with offensive content, including inappropriate remarks about other people, will result in the suspension of posting privileges for two weeks.  The email in question will not be posted.  There are no cumulative penalties; each incident carries the same two-week suspension.
  • Spam:  attempting to post SPAM or advertisements to the Webvine will result in a suspension of posting privileges as follows:
    • 1st offense: two-week suspension of posting privileges
    • 2nd offense within six months of the first offense: one-year suspension of posting privileges after a review by the communications committee
Dispute Resolution

If a person who has posting privileges has a concern about or a grievance against a moderator they may follow the procedures listed below to seek resolution to their concerns. Please note that this action is not to be used to discuss the moderator’s decision about individual emails.  The moderators have used their discretion and experience and often have communicated with the other moderators regarding emails that are rejected.  This process should only be used to resolve more general issues or concerns with a given moderator(s).

  • If a sender has a concern about a moderator, the sender can apply to the communications committee to have their concern or grievance heard. The communications committee will hear grievances at their regularly scheduled meetings when they are alerted at least 48-hours in advance of the meeting.  Emails regarding a grievance or concerns should be sent to: [email protected]
  • If the grievance is not resolved by discussing the issue with the communications committee, the sender may direct their concern to any member of the TPUUF board, who will then take the issue up with the board.
Moderator Qualifications & Duties:

In order to serve as a Webvine Moderator, a person must meet the qualifications listed below.  That person must also have the approval of the communications committee to serve as a moderator.  If a member meets the qualifications and is interested in joining the moderator staff, he or she should contact the committee at [email protected]

Moderator’s qualifications:  Moderators must be

  • Members in good standing
  • Members who have been part of the community for at least one entire year, preferably much longer so they have a sense of the community and how it functions
  • Members who are also part of the communications committee
  • Members who have not had any Webvine-related disputes with the communications committee in the year prior to their becoming a moderator.
  • Members who have been on the Webvine mailing list for at least an entire year, so they are very familiar with the type of content that is generally appropriate to the list.
Moderator duties:
  • Review the “pending” queue of TPUUF Webvine emails at least once every 24 hours.
  • Read all incoming emails to the TPUUF Webvine for the content limitations listed in the Webvine rules.
  • If there is an email about whose content the moderator is unsure, the moderator should forward the email with his/her question to the other moderators for feedback. The majority will prevail.
  • If the decision is made by the moderator team to reject the email, the following procedure is followed:
    • the moderator replies to the email’s sender to let them know that the email is inappropriate for posting to the Webvine and gives them an explanation for that decision.
    • the email is deleted from the posting queue
  • If a sender initiates a dispute resolution with the communications committee, the moderator will participate in the process to the best of his/her ability.