The list admin and any moderators will get emails from time to time asking them to perform various actions. Depending on how you set the list up, you may need to:
Approve subscription requests, and possibly unsubscribe requests.
Deal with any posts caught by the administrivia filter in the General Options page, and any emails explicitly sent to the list-owner address.
Deal with any held posts. Posts can be held for many reasons: for example, if a non-member tries to post to the list, or if you have temporarily put a member on probation (see "Moderating posts by one or all users" below).
Deal with any bounced messages not caught by the bounce processor (admin only).
In any case, you will receive an email, either asking you to visit the moderators page at http://list.yourdomain.yourtld/mailman/admindb/yourlistname, or requiring a reply to confirm an action.
Note: In many email clients, this will not work if you reply as instructed, and the post is deleted rather than confirmed! Instead, you must forward the message to email@example.com and paste the confirmation code (the string of letters/numbers) into the Subject line.
We describe the most common tasks below, but the moderators page has a link to fairly detailed help text.
Using the moderators page
Subscription (unsubscribe) requests and held posts are all listed on the page for action. For each item, you can choose to:
Defer it until you are ready to do something.
Approve it (confirm the request, or send the held post on to the list).
Reject it, which sends a message to the sender and removes the request or post.
Discard it, which just removes the request or post silently.
There are two useful options for held posts. Preserve for site administrator keeps an off-list copy of discarded posts. Forward this message allows the post to be sent to someone for approval, rejection, or editing (see below). You can also click the view more details link to see the contents of held postings.
You can action as many items as you want before clicking Submit all data.
Editing a post
If you need to edit a held post before it goes to the list, the procedure is not completely obvious, and almost impossible in common email clients like Outlook (Express).
Note: this only works if you have a client (like Thunderbird) that allows editing the message headers. Forward the post to yourself and discard the original one in the moderators page. Edit the forwarded post, noting that you have done so, and resend it to the list. Include an Approved: header with the list password as its value and a Resent-To: header containing the list posting address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Moderating posts by one or all users
If you are having problems with one or two users, you may wish to temporarily moderate all their posts. Go to the Membership Management page, and tick the mod flag for the user(s) in question. All their posts will be held for approval.
If there is flame war, you can request Emergency moderation of all list traffic in the General Options page.