|The MailHelp FAQ & HOWTO: Simplifying Mailer Daemons and Associated Tools.|
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On many lists and newsgroups the members are continually bombarded with flame wars and trolls trying to start flame wars. It can be quite difficult sometimes to get the information you need without having to wade hip-deep through garbage to find it. Add to that the serious problems with spam on the newsgroups and their usefulness is somewhat limited.
On the mailhelp list we were/are determined not to allow this sort of behavior to undermine the benefits of the list. From inception through the current day we have had a very low tolerance for misbehavior and it's made a difference. The list has a very, very low turn over rate and it's signal to noise ratio is outstanding!
This does not mean that there is no latitude given for friendly discussion of off-topic issues. Sometimes something may truly be "off-topic" but worthwhile anyway because its semi-related or it serves to improve the "community" environment we've sought to nurture. This has not ever been a serious problem as people generally take it off list quickly out of respect for others (always bear in mind that some people have to pay per minute charges for their connect time).