Message Approval Workflow for Moderated Lists

For regular announcement-only lists or as part of the approval process described below, please see for how to confirm a message to be distributed

One of the advanced features within Listserv is the ability to have a moderated list with multiple layers of approval. These lists will have one or more individuals listed as a moderator, and one or more individuals authorized to send a message that will be approved by the moderator(s) before it is ultimately distributed to the list.


For lists with a single moderator, all messages from authorized senders will be sent to the moderator for approval. For lists with multiple moderators, either a round-robin style or shotgun-style of approval will be used. In a round-robin style, the Listserv will pick one moderator for each message. In a shotgun-style, the Listserv sends the message to all moderators at once for approval. Often times, a moderator will be able to send a message directly to a list.


There are three ways that the list of authorized senders with moderation is defined:

  1. For a discussion lists, all members of the list may be authorized
  2. For a controlled list, a specific sub-set of subscribers is authorized through their individual user settings
  3. For a wide-open list, anyone (both subscribed and non-subscribed) is "authorized" and any message sent to the list is sent to the moderator.

Individuals can not only be given the ability to send messages, but also these privileges may be revoked on a case-by-case basis.

Approval Process

The security-based approval process for a message to be distributed to the subscribers of list is in place to prevent unauthorized individuals from sending messages to the list.  The process goes as follows:

1) The authorized sender composes a message and sends it to [email protected]

2) The authorized sender receives a confirmation message back for his or her review and to confirm that he or she actually intends it to be sent.

3) The final approval rests with the moderator. The moderator(s) receives a notification just as the sender did in step 2 asking for confirmation for it to be distributed.

4) Once the moderator clicks the approval link, the message is accepted by the Listserv and it is distributed to the subscribers of the list.