soc.atheism Posting Guidelines

Copyright 2002-2005, Brian Edmonds
$Revision: 1.13 $ $Date: 2005/01/16 00:34:41 $

The latest version of this document can be found at

Any inquiries, comments or suggestions should be sent to the group moderator at



The soc.atheism newsgroup was created in October 1995. The group originally had a panel of moderators who oversaw all postings. Over time these moderators burned out or moved on to other things, and as of February 15, 2000 the technical moderator, Keith Schneider, was left running the group largely on auto-pilot.

In March 2002 Keith passed control of the group to Brian Edmonds. Since April 2003 the group has been managed by a moderation team of Brian, Apostate, Ron Hammon, Gary Rockley, and Marc Fleury, who are running the group and a companion, gated mailing list with the assistance of Brian's robomoderation software.

Since its creation a number of control messages have been sent which at some sites appear to have erroneously changed the status of the group to unmoderated. If this is the case at your site, you should bring it to the attention of your news admin, as any postings you make to a moderated group which is not properly recognized as such at your site will be silently discarded at any site where the group is correctly carried as moderated.


soc.atheism provides a forum for discussion of the social aspects, ramifications, and benefits of being an atheist. For instance, what leads one to atheism, what famous people are atheists, how has atheism manifested historically, how to deal with religious relatives, what should children be taught about religion, what atheist groups can one join, the political aspects of being an atheist... These are a small sample of acceptable topics. Topics that are specifically to be excluded from soc.atheism are atheism vs. religion discussions, conversion attempts, and general discussions about correctness or justification of atheism. These topics should be discussed in talk.atheism, a forum specifically dedicated to such debates.

Miscellaneous Policies

The moderation software may (now or possibly in the future) enforce the following policies:

All posts (with a working return address) will either be returned with a rejection notice, or posted to the newsgroup and mailing list. One exception is that rejection notices for the same error are suppressed for a few minutes after the first one is sent to reduce the danger of the robomoderator being used as a mailbombing agent.

Posting with a non-replyable address is strongly discouraged. If you feel you must post with such an address, please make sure you are not using one in a valid mail domain; appending .invalid to the address is the recommended way to ensure this.


The robomoderation software (robomod) enforces various anti-spam and text formatting requirements. Note that in order to receive rejection notices or other information from robomod it must have a valid email address for you. More information on the registration process, including how to use munged addreses, can be found at

Submissions from non-registered addresses will be held for human moderation. The moderators may at their discretion register addresses for auto-approval, or revert them to hand moderated status.

How To Submit a Post

At a correctly configured site you should simply be able to post to soc.atheism and everything will be managed for you behind the scenes. If you find this does not work for you, you can submit directly to the submission agent by mailing your posting to

Please try the newsgroup first, and be sure to bring any problems to the attention of your local news administrator so that they can be dealt with.

The Mailing List

All postings to soc.atheism are also distributed to the mailing list, which is available in both regular and digest format. For subscription information, send email to or visit the list webpage at

Likewise, all postings to the mailing list are also distributed to the newsgroup, so subscribers can use whichever of the newsgroup, list, or digest formats is most comfortable.

Brian Edmonds
$Date: 2005/01/16 00:34:41 $