Email List Administrator Responsibilities

The IHS PTA email list is hosted by Yahoo!, and is called IHSPTA.  It is a distribution list, not a discussion list so members should not expect to post their message on the list. People can sign up to this list as per the instructions available from our email list page.  To ensure legitimate membership, each subscription request has to be approved by a list administrator.

Subscription approvals

It is the responsibility of the administrator to make sure that each subscription (group membership) request is reviewed and confirmed legitimate before approving.  We request new users specify why they want to join, but most do not.  In instances when the subscription comes from well-know local domains such as or then there is probably no need to do a further check.  Otherwise a good way of checking suspect requests is to send an email to the subscriber asking why he or she wants to join, explaining that this is done to prevent spammers from joining the list to collect members’ email addresses.

There may be more than one administrator. The administrator(s) can approve or reject subscription (membership) requests in one of two way. Either:

  • The administrator receives an email automatically from the system.  To approve, simply reply to the email.  To reject, click on the “reject” link.


Technical details and limitations: Yahoo! groups is the service governing our list service. The relevant Yahoo! group setting is currently, “Anyone can apply to join this group, moderator approval is required.” The group service states, “Restricted and Private groups cannot be made Public later” and our list was set as a “Restricted” group. It turns out this means we cannot have the “Who can Join” option of, “Anyone can join this group, moderator approval is not required.” Subscription requests will thus always require case-by-case approval.

Posting pre-approvals and ad-hoc approvals

Posting on the list is also heavily restricted since it is an announcement list, not a discussion list.  Non-members cannot post. Most unexpected messages from members are not appropriate to approve for this announcement-only list- often they are a quick “thank you” to, or question for, the legitimate posting’s sender.  Some members, such as the IHS PTA president and VP of Communications, have been configured so that their emails are automatically approved. Others who need regular posting privileges can have their email addresses similarly configured to permit unmoderated postings, following approval of the IHT PTA leadership. Naturally, an email address must be in the group to be considered for unmoderated posting.

If a member has information to share to the list, the best process is to go through an existing pre-approved poster since this helps ensures content completeness and consistency of messaging. Alternatively, if a legitimate message comes to the list directly from an address which has not been pre-approved, that posts can be approved by an administrator. (Similar process as above if done via website: “Management” and “Pending Approvals”. Then click the “Messages” tab.)

Historical note: <IHSPTA-discuss> was another list set up, but never got used and was shut down October 8, 2016.