HTML Writers Guild Guides SOP 4

Standard Operating Procedure:
Persistant NG Violations


This covers widespread incidence of NG violations such as editing, HTML-styleing, VCard atteachment, long sig files, etc.

Using an INFO post to resolve problems of NG violations is a last resort and should only be used on rare occaisions. The Mailing List Tip of the Week in the Friday Administrative FAQ, and private email to individual offenders are more appropriate methods of control. It is only when these methods have been exhausted and a significant proportion of posts are violating a netiquette guideline that an INFO post may be sent.


An INFO post should be sent to the list. In this case you should briefly point out the problem, why it is important and remind members of the NG guidelines.

A sample INFO post is included below:

Subject: INFO: HTML Formatting

*Please do not respond to this message on the list*

Greetings hwg-critique readers,

My name is Pat Greenfield and I am one of the list guides for the hwg-critique list and, after reviewing the posts received over the last few weeks, feel a reminder is necessary.

Your combined participation on our list is greatly appreciated however, you will recall that HTML formatting is not allowed on any of the mailing lists as quoted in the HWG's Netiquette guidelines located at Unfortunately, a fair percentage of mail being received for the hwg-critique mailing list is in HTML formatting.

The reasoning behind this particular guideline is that a lot of browser software is set up to send e-mail as HTML files by default and, as some members cannot read these messages, we ask that you do not use this format when sending mail to the lists. If you need help turning this feature off, please visit the HWG's Email FAQ located at:

I am sure you will appreciate these guidelines are in existence for the continuing smooth flow and access to all of our lists, and of course, for the benefit of all our members. We depend and rely on members to not only contribute to the lists, but to contribute to the quality as well, by following the Guild's guidelines.

Thank you all in advance for your cooperation and should you have any questions or require help regarding this post, please feel free to contact the List Guides at when they will be pleased to be of assistance.

Pat Greenfield
List Guide hwg-critique

Followup Activity

When an INFO post is sent to the mail list, it means the list has a significant problem that is affecting it. Your INFO post is a direct request for members to follow the appropriate guidelines. Further infractions occuring withing 7 days (allowing for email lag) should be dealt with as a violation of the Actionable Rules (purposeful abuse of the Guild's lists).

The INFO post should remind the member that this problem was brought to the attention of all list members, and assist the member where possible with instructions (or pointers to instructions) for correcting their posts.

A sample INFO post is included below:

Subject: INFO: <> Re: long postings

Hi Alex,

My name is Evelyn Hunter and I am one of the List Guides for HWG Business. Thank you for your contributions to the list and for your concern regarding the subject of "long postings." This is just a note to let you know that we are indeed aware of the lack of editing that has gone along with this thread, and that we are reminding the members in question.

We would like to ask that if there is anything on the list that troubles you in the future, please let us know about it at It has been our experience that when a member sends a corrective post to the list, it often breaks out into a flame war. We would like to protect the membership from this kind of thing and have found that when members send us notes privately, we can handle the situation without ruffling too many feathers.

Thanks again for your contributions and please let us know if a situation arises again that concerns you or if we can assist you in any way.

Evelyn Hunter
List Guide, HWG Business

*** Original Message Included for Reference ***

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