Community Listserv Policy

The CBAJ Community List is a “bulletin board” type list for information of interest to the Albany, NY Jewish community, including community events and programs, general local information, personal things to give away or sell, rides offered/needed, and more. The list moderators have found it necessary to develop a set of rules that contribute to making the list a useful place in cyberspace.

How does this list work? The CBAJ Community List functions much like a “letters to the editor” column, in that the moderators must read and permit the posting of each message. Our moderators are volunteers who ensure the appropriateness of list postings, and treat bandwidth as a limited resource. We don’t want our list members to be overwhelmed with messages, and have their inboxes cluttered.

As such, we have developed the following policy guidelines:

  1. Sign your messages, either with your full name showing as part of your email address or in the body of your message. We recommend you do not post overly sensitive information such as your address, children’s names, etc. unless you want these to be publicized.
  2. It is not acceptable to have other recipients in the TO or CC line of your message to the Community list.
  3. No spam. Political and/or personal opinion pieces, news articles of general interest, etc. should not be posted here. Messages should generally be your own original writing, written just for the community on this email list and of specific interest to the local Jewish community. That means no forwards, and no copies of messages you have received privately or have seen on other email lists. Exceptions are matters of direct relevance to the local Jewish community, which would not otherwise be known. Strive to be brief. If you can’t condense the information you want to convey into a message of just a few paragraphs, then invite those interested in the subject in greater depth to email you off-line for an expanded version of your message. The normal length limit is about 300 words.
  4. Your message must be readable. Spelling and punctuation count. The same goes for using paragraphs, correct capitalization, and other grammatical niceties. Properly spelled and formatted emails help list members figure out what you’re trying to say. ALL CAPS can be used for occasional emphasis only. Don’t abuse ellipsis. Messages may not start in the subject line and continue the sentence in the text box. Keep in mind that there are list members who are sight-impaired or for whom English is a second language. Messages that contain forwarding marks (>>>) in every line will be deleted because these messages are especially difficult to read.
  5. If you are posting a long hyperlink, please convert it to something short using one of the various free Internet services such as Bit.ly. Test all links; to help keep the list message traffic at a reasonable level, the list moderators may not approve messages that are simply corrections of wrong or broken URLs.
  6. Respect the privacy of others. Posting someone’s home address or phone number or posting private or personal correspondence without their permission is not allowed.   Forwarding or reposting somebody’s off-list correspondence is not allowed.
  7. Post reasonably and responsibly. Too many messages from the same person over a short period of time or on the same subject is considered “overposting” — a form of clutter. A general guideline for posts about community events is 1-2 posts per event (i.e., one announcement and one “reminder” within 48 hours of the event or signup deadline).
  8. Personal attacks, ridicule, harsh or uncivil language or profanity are not allowed on the Community email list. The list is not the place to air a personal grievance against your neighbors. Any post that is intended to inflame (also called “trolling”) is not permitted. The Community email list is a G-rated list: Messages should be appropriate for all ages.
  9. Advertising policy: In order to keep the Community list primarily a person-to-person bulletin board, posting of ads is extremely restricted. Nonprofits serving the local Jewish community may advertise events. The only people who are allowed to post ads are those who live within the local Jewish community, and the ads must be non-commercial in nature and not too frequent. “Non-commercial” means that you cannot advertise something that you are in the business of selling. It’s usually okay for those who are not full-time professionals to offer goods or services e.g. babysitting, house cleaning, etc.; however, such messages can be posted only once a year. You can post a for-sale item once; no reminders or repeated advertisements for the same items.   If you have multiple items to sell, be sure to list them all in the same ad. List members can use the list to sell things only a few times per year, and you must wait at least two months between for-sale ads.
  10. Business owners and professionals may post but should not put anything in their messages that promote or advertise their business — and that includes tag lines or slogans after their signature. Recommendations can’t be posted for any business in which you have a financial or personal interest. (That means you can’t recommend your spouse’s business.) Shilling, like all fraudulent posts, is prohibited.
  11. Attachments should be limited to 2 MB per message and should be in formats that are easily viewable on a variety of devices such as PDF or JPG, etc.
  12. Put “needed” or “wanted” or “for sale” or “FS:” or “for free” in the subject line of your message, as appropriate. It makes it lot easier for list members if you specify in the subject line of the message whether your item is something that’s for sale or that you’re seeking. Please use the advertising checklist when posting a for-sale item.
  13. Anyone who collects or harvests list members’ email addresses for spamming, sending advertisements or any other purpose, or who is a spammer, or who joins the list under false pretenses will be banned from the list.   Harvesting email addresses will be considered computer trespass.   We share our banned member list with other listserv moderators.
  14. All messages express the views of the person making the post. List members are responsible for the content of their messages.
  15. If your post does not immediately appear on the list, please do not send it again. It can take up to 24 hours for a message to appear on the list.
  16. Please do not put a message to the moderators in your post to the list. You can email the moderators at community-owner@cbaj.org — but please keep in mind that the moderators are all volunteers, and that we do not have unlimited time to deal with list members’ questions.

These rules are aimed at promoting a list that is friendly but focused, flexible but not a free-for-all. The moderators will make whatever exceptions they find necessary or helpful to meet the needs of individual neighbors, in emergencies, or to serve the overall needs of the group. If you don’t find your message on the list, you may assume it has been deleted. The moderators sometimes write a note of explanation when a message is not published, but with message traffic so high, it’s more likely that they will delete without a note to the poster.