From: The Big-8 Management Board <>
Subject: 3rd RFD: moderated (LAST CALL FOR COMMENTS)
Newsgroups:, news.announce.newgroups,, news.groups.proposals,
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 18:00:13 -0600

                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of the
moderated Usenet newsgroup,


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:	Amateur radio practices, rules, etc. (Moderated)


The proposal in its current form reflects the results of feedback from
posters to news.groups.proposals in response to the 1st and 2nd RFD's
and a Straw Poll.  It is also, realistically, a reflection of what Big-8
board members - including Tim Skirvin, Steve Bonine, and Kathy Morgan -
indicated that they would support, and vote for.

Followup discussion in response to the 1st RFD indicated that there was
significant and strongly-held opinions in favor of either opening up the
proposed newsgroup to all amateur radio topics, or changing the name to
reflect a misc+policy scope only.  In addition to the and newsgroups, there
has also been recent discussion about moderation in and  As a result,
pointers to the 2nd RFD were posted to those additional newsgroups.  In
particular, some consensus about alternatives was actively solicited at
that time.  The main alternatives suggested in the 2nd RFD were:

1.  Make an all-encompassing moderated amateur
    radio discussion newsgroup.

2.  Keep the topics focused on misc and policy, and come up with a
    better name for the proposed misc+policy moderated amateur radio
    discussion newsgroup.

Alternative #2 then would branch out to two possible outcomes:

2.a.  Create additional moderated newsgroups for other topics, like
      .antenna and .dx, now or in the future.

2.b.  No one steps forward to create additional moderated newsgroups,
      and the other topics continue unmoderated.

Alternative #1 would not rule out the creation of additional moderated
newsgroups in the future, though there is the valid point that
alternative #2 would fix the name-space problem immediately for future
growth, and would not have to be revisited.

Alternative #2 would require a suitable name.  The name of was suggested by Kathy Morgan.

One argument offered by the proponent in favor of alternative #1 was
that it may not be realistic to expect that, even if strongly desired,
additional moderated newsgroups for other topics would emerge anytime
soon, or at all.

No one from the or
newsgroup communities stepped forward to express a desire to create
moderated newsgroups for those topics in response to the 2nd RFD
inviting them to do so.  Nor was there significant or widely-shared
objection to the proposed new moderated newsgroup covering those topics

Creation of an all-encompassing moderated amateur radio newsgroup is
consistent with the findings of a Straw Poll in news.groups.proposals,
where approximately 60% of respondents were in the categories of
"Support initial name, no stated preference for scope" or "Support
initial name and all-amateur-radio scope.  Trying to characterize or
summarize the opinions of those who might have been leaning towards a
misc+policy scope proved difficult, and resulted in two respondents out
of 21 polled (Jim Riley and Kathy Morgan) following up to clarify their
own positions and correct their categorization in the Straw Poll.  Jim
indicated that he should be moved to the Straw Poll category of "Support
initial name, no stated preference for scope," instead.  Kathy indicated
that she would support a proposal where the newsgroup name matched the
scope.  No one who was initially categorized in the Straw Poll as,
"Support initial name, no stated preference for scope," or, "Support
initial name and all-amateur-radio scope," followed up to
news.groups.proposals to object to their own categorization.  Because of
all of this, the alternative of a misc+policy-only newsgroup was not
seen as one that could gain political traction, broad readership
support, or majority Big-8 board support.

Less than 15% of respondents expressed objection to the creation of a
moderated newsgroup entirely.  None of these respondents objected to
their categorization in the Straw Poll.

The and
newsgroups are being added to the distribution of a pointer to this 3rd
RFD as a courtesy, and for their information.  They were not added
previously because the existence or form of a moderated discussion
newsgroup was not seen by the proponents or most of the RFD discussion
participants as something that would seriously affect them.  Nor has
there been any significant discussion in the recent past for making
moderated alternatives for those topics, either specifically or
generally, on the newsgroups.  Making them aware of this 3rd RFD, and
the opportunity to object during this Last Call for Comments, was seen
as a reasonable compromise between informing them as a courtesy versus
not subjecting them to unwelcome amounts of off-topic meta-discussion.

RATIONALE: is a moderated alternative to at least the
existing and newsgroups.
The newsgroup is chartered to discuss amateur
("ham") radio practices, contents, events, rules, etc., including
anything related to amateur radio not specifically covered by another* newsgroup.  The newsgroup
is chartered to discuss ham radio rules, regulations, and policy.  Over
the past several years, the traffic on both groups has become largely
flame wars, spam, and personal ad-hominem discussions of past, present,
and future violations and violators, having little or no bearing on
amateur radio.  Polite requests by serious group posters to the
offenders to refrain from such behavior have not resulted in elimination
of such behavior and has in fact resulted in another series of flame
wars.  As a result, many knowledgeable and concerned posters in both
groups have ceased being active therein.

Prior to the deterioration of and, both groups had active discussion of their
chartered topics.  It is expected that offering a moderated group will
persuade those who formerly participated to resume their participation
in rational, focussed, and informed discussion.  Proper moderation will
enable serious postings to the group to remain on topic while not
limiting who can voice opinions or what opinions can be voiced.

Creating a single moderated newsgroup, one that would also permit all
other amateur radio topics, is offered as the most practical solution
for both the moderators and the participants at this time.  The existing
unmoderated newsgroups under* can, and likely will,
continue with their present topics and message traffic independent of
this new moderated newsgroup.

CHARTER: is for the discussion of amateur ("ham")
radio, also known as the Amateur Radio Service, as defined in Federal
Communications Commission Regulations and U.S. Law (47 CFR Part 97), and
in similar laws and regulations in other countries, based on
international treaty.  It is not limited to the rules of any one country
or time period.  Possible topics include past, present, and future
operating practices; events; contests; past, present, and
potential-future rules; power limitations; authorized frequencies;
allowed modes and band plans (or other gentlemen's agreements) that
govern how we are to operate; what constitutes the acceptable operation
of amateur stations.

The newsgroup is intended to be international in scope, not just for
amateurs in the United States.  It is, however, intended as an
English-language forum, by custom and practice.  As with General
Aviation and other internationally-scoped endeavors, the Amateur Radio
Service has a strong custom of the use of English and the Latin
alphabet.  Discussion of amateur radio in languages other than English
also occurs in many country- and region-specific hierarchies, many of
which have specific amateur radio newsgroups, including:

de.* (Germany)
dk.* (Denmark)
es.* (Spain)
fr.* (France)
nl.* (Netherlands)
pl.* (Poland)
pt.* (Portugal)
relcom.* (Russia)

This newsgroup is only intended to supplement, not supersede, any other
amateur radio newsgroups.

General communications law or government policy of various government
agencies is also on-topic, as long as the discussion relates to amateur
radio.  Examples would be emergency communications, local antenna
restrictions, and property deed restrictions applying to operation of
amateur radio stations.

Discussion of other types of radio, such as Citizens Band, Broadcast,
other Personal Radio Services, Commercial or Private Land Mobile, and
Marine or Aviation services are off-topic, except when *directly*
related to amateur radio.  Similarly, discussion of methods violating
applicable communications law and regulations concerning radio equipment
or operations are off-topic.

The following are prohibited:

  * Personal advertisements (submitters of such articles will be
    referred to, instead).
  * Commercial advertisements and money-making schemes.
  * Chain letters.
  * Posts in HTML.
  * EMP spam.
  * Binaries, apart from PGP signatures, X-Face headers, and other
    ancillary article meta-data.
  * Forgery of valid e-mail addresses.
  * Excessive morphing/nym-shifting.
  * Copyright violations.  Pointers to news articles, blogs, etc. on
    this topic are welcome but are required to comply with fair use
  * Personal attacks and flames, as defined by the moderation team.
  * Advertising items and/or services for sale (also will be referred to
  * Links to "objectionable" web content, including pornographic sites,
    sites encouraging illegal activities, or sites deemed unacceptable
    by the moderation team.  The moderation team will cursorily check
    the contents of specific links to confirm on-topic content, but
    acceptance for posting does not imply endorsement or approval of
    the entire present or future contents of that web site.
  * Discussion of moderation decisions.  See below for information on
    appealing moderator action.


Amateur Radio Newsgroups in Total Meltdown (QRZ);act=ST;f=7;t=119282

Amateur Radio Newsgroups: Total Meltdown (eHam)

Secure, Team-Based Usenet Moderation Program (STUMP)


A moderation robot will scan all submitted posts.  Each post will be
either automatically approved, rejected, or sent to the moderators for
manual review.  The moderator 'bot will enforce the following guidelines:

  * Crossposting is generally not allowed, with the general exception of
    crossposts of bulletins, FAQ's, and other informational articles to, rec.answers, and news.answers.  Infrequent
    administrative crossposts may occasionally be allowed at the sole
    discretion of the moderator.

  * Postings must be in plain text. In particular no HTML or mixed text
    and HTML posts will be allowed.  Messages that are
    multipart/alternative will be automatically filtered to pass just
    the text/plain version to the newsgroup.

  * No binary postings of any sort will be accepted.  Exceptions will be
    made for cryptographic signatures and such.

  * Messages must not have a 'Followup-To' header that points out of (other than to "poster").

  * Messages must not continue a thread that has been "closed" by the

Individual posters may be temporarily banned for consistently violating
the group charter.  Posters who feel that their posts have been unfairly
rejected or banned, either for specific content or by a specific
moderator, may appeal the decision.  They may do so by contacting the
Appeals Board, consisting of a rotating group of 2 or more moderators,
at the Administrative Contact address below.  The Board will discuss and
vote on the appeal and respond within 14 days if the appeal is
successful.  The Board will also reply within 14 days to unsuccessful
submitters of any appeal that is on-topic, reasoned, civilly stated, and
is not substantially an attempt to revisit the subject matter and
arguments of a previous unsuccessful appeal.

Multiple temporary bans, attempting to circumvent the ban, or abuse of the
appeal system may result in a permanent ban.


Moderator:                Paul W. Schleck, K3FU <>
Moderator:                Bob Diepenbrock, KC4UAI <>
Moderator:                Jack Cook, VK2CJC <>
Moderator:                Jim Hampton, AA2QA <>
Moderator:                Ace Ratliff, WH2T <>
Moderator:                Jeff Angus, WA6FWI <>
Moderator:                Hans Brakob, K0HB <>

In addition, the Moderation Team will
utilize the expertise of the following consultants:

Consultant:               Cecil A. Moore, W5DXP   <>
Consultant:               Phil Kane, K2ASP        <>
Consultant:               Brian Short, K7ON       <>

The moderators are seeking additional candidates for the moderation team
in order to ensure minimal posting delays and to avoid any appearance of
bias.  We would especially like to find moderators in other time zones,
countries/continents, etc.

Article Submissions:
Administrative Contact:


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:


The proponent will also post pointers to:


"Paul W. Schleck, K3FU" <>


2007-01-10     1st RFD
2007-01-24     2nd RFD
2007-02-12     3rd RFD/LCC