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Procedures for List Managers When Dealing with Conflict
Procedures for List Managers When Dealing with Conflict
Communication, Change & Conflict
  1. Try to remain calm, and remember to be polite.
  2. Decide who needs to be involved and be sure they get copied on all relevant messages.
  3. Save copies of all relevant correspondence.
  4. Review the UUA's Email List Rules for Participating, the Rules for List Managers, and any other rules specific to the list in question (
  5. Write to the person who posted the problematic message. Explain the rule that was broken, and offer a suggestion about what might have been done differently.
  6. If the problem caused trouble on the list that needs to be addressed publicly, one of the managers should post a message to the list. Quote the rule that was broken, explain how one or more postings broke the rule, and include a warning that people who persist in breaking rules will be asked to leave or have all postings reviewed before they appear on the list. Don't mention the name of the person who broke the rule. Mention that subscribers can write to the UUA's ITS Web Team at web [at] uua [dot] org if they disagree with your decision.
  7. If the person breaks the same rule again, set the person to moderated postings for a week (find their address at, check the "mod" box next to their address, and click the "Submit Your Changes" button). Be sure to consult with the other managers of the list, the contact for the sponsoring organization (if applicable), and the Web Team before making this decision.
  8. Send a private message to the person who broke the rule, explaining the rule, the reasons, and how long their messages will be moderated. S/he can still receive list messages, but you should reject all problematic messages from him or her. Mention that s/he can contact Web Team at web [at] uua [dot] org if the subscriber feels that you are treating him/her unfairly.
  9. Announce the suspension on the list, with as little fanfare or blame as possible, including the date that the individual moderation ends. This may be embarrassing for the rule-breaker, but if you don't, you may be accused of being secretive.
  10. Send a message to web [at] uua [dot] org to let the Web Team know about the individual moderation, including the name of the subscriber, date of the original infraction, date of the warning, date of the second infraction, and beginning and end dates of the suspension.
  11. When the moderation period is over, un-moderate the person and notify them. (To remove someone from individual moderation, find their address at, uncheck the "mod" box next to their address, and click the "Submit Your Changes" button.)
  12. If the person breaks the rules again, repeat steps 5-11. Subscribers may be suspended from list participation for increasing amounts of time in consultation with the Web Team. If the Web Team feels that a subscriber doesn't intend to abide by the UUA's list rules no matter how many chances s/he is given, the Web Team (but not a list manager) may decide to exclude a subscriber permanently from one or all UUA lists.

Emergencies on Lists

If a rule infraction is very destructive to the list and the list manager thinks that the situation constitutes an emergency, you may switch the list to be moderated for up to two weeks. Report to uua-list-owners [at] lists [dot] uua [dot] org and the Web Team at web [at] uua [dot] org when you turn moderation on and back off. Inform the Web Team at web [at] uua [dot] org what the issues are and what your resolution plan is, and forward copies of relevant messages.

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