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ARCHIVED: On my LISTSERV list, what does the Send keyword do, and what are the possible settings?

Note: IU retired its LISTSERV system in spring 2012, replacing it with IU List, a new mailing list service. See What is IU List, and how do I use it?

In LISTSERV, the Send keyword defines who can send email messages or files to the list. Additionally, this keyword can put the list under the control of an editor. At Indiana University, the default value for this keyword is Send= Private.

Note: UITS strongly recommends using either Send= Private,Confirm or Send= Editor,Hold,Confirm in your list configuration. To change the Send keyword setting for your list, you'll need to edit the list header. For help, see ARCHIVED: On my LISTSERV list, how can I modify the list header?

Following is the generic syntax for the keyword:

Send= access-level [,Semi-Moderated][,Hold][,Confirm]

The commonly used access-level settings for this keyword are:

  • Send= Public: Anyone, including spammers, can send mail or files to the list.

  • Send= Public,Confirm: Anyone can send to the list, but LISTSERV will request confirmation from the sender using the OK mechanism. If the sender responds with "ok", the message will be posted to the list.

  • Send= Private: Only people who are subscribed to the list may send mail or files to the list. This setting won't protect your list from someone forging (i.e., spoofing) a subscriber's email address, and so unwanted email can still get to the list.

  • Send= Private,Confirm: Only people who are subscribed to the list may post to the list. LISTSERV will request confirmation from subscribers via the OK mechanism. Non-subscribers will not be able to post to the list; LISTSERV will send them a rejection message. Use this setting to protect your list from senders of forged email.

  • Send= Editor,Hold,Confirm: LISTSERV initially sends all postings to the list editor(s) that are defined in the list's Editor keyword. LISTSERV holds messages for a period of time (usually seven days) until an editor approves them with the OK mechanism. LISTSERV will advise senders that their messages have been forwarded to the list moderator. Use this setting to protect your list from someone trying to forge email from the Editor's address.

    Note: The Hold option is valid only with Send= Editor.

  • Send= Owner: Only the list owner may send to the list.

To cut down on spam on public and edited lists, you can configure the Send keyword to require non-subscribers to confirm their postings. To do this, use one of the following settings:

  • Send= Public,Confirm,Non-Member: For a public list

  • Send= Editor,Hold,Confirm,Non-Member: For an edited list

For more about LISTSERV, see L-Soft Documentation and Manuals.

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Last modified on September 23, 2013.

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