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Unicode Mail List Policies

Participation in any of the Unicode Consortium's public-access mail lists requires adherence to the rules and etiquette set forth on this page.

The main mail list page gives details on subscribing to these lists.

These policies and guidelines pertain to any public or member access mailing list maintained by the Unicode consortium. Any exceptions are noted.

The Basics

We assume that subscribers to our lists understand our guidelines, and that they will generally remain within designated topic areas of the lists. Posting messages utilizes our resources, and is a privilege, not a right. Your ability to post messages depends on compliance with our policies and guidelines. Some of our lists may have designated moderators who watch the list and may undertake remedial actions as described below. These mail list services are provided free of charge, as-is, with no guarantees, and may be revoked at any time.


E-mail submitted to any of our e-mail lists which contains disclaimers of confidentiality or reservation of copyright, or similar, will be treated as if these disclaimers were not present, and neither the Consortium nor the users of our e-mail lists shall be liable for their use of the information in the e-mail under this policy. It is up to the submitter to ensure that no confidential or otherwise restricted information is sent to any e-mail list.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the case of inadvertent transmission of confidential material not intended for the e-mail list, the Unicode Consortium will use best efforts to assist in removing such material from public archives, if applicable, and in notifying other users of this fact. Please read the Unicode Consortium General Privacy Policy, as parts of that policy apply to our mail lists.


If you send something to the list that we consider spam or unsolicited commercial or bulk e-mail, you may be subject to remedial action.


Some of our mail lists are archived. A permanent record of your posting may be available for viewing by others, including non-subscribers and members of the public. When posting messages remember that everything you post may be publicly available. Consider before you launch an ad hominem attack that your words may come back to haunt you.

However, we are under no obligation to update our list archives, to make them accessible in any way, or to retain them. We reserve the right to edit or remove offensive postings from our list archives at our sole discretion.

Some of our public mail lists might be archived and indexed by third parties, and made available on their websites. The Consortium has no control over such practices and is not responsible for any third-party archives or indexes. Questions or concerns regarding them must be taken up with the administrators of those websites.


Sometimes a subscriber's messages will be "moderated". "Moderation" means that messages are pre-screened before forwarding to the list. This is usually a remedial action prompted by a pattern of non-adherence to guidelines. A moderator may refuse or return moderated postings without any obligation to explain or announce the action.

Termination of Threads

Sometimes discussions ("threads" on a mail list) continue at length, heatedly, without any prospect of a resolution to the issue at hand. A list moderator may curtail discussion at any time by sending a message to the list declaring that a particular thread is officially closed. Failure to yield in such a case may result in remedial action.

Delivery and Timeliness

Posting a message to our lists does not guarantee that your message will ever be delivered to anyone, including yourself. We endeavor to deliver all mail, but mail is occasionally undeliverable. After a limited time, it may be flushed by the system. We also do not guarantee timeliness of delivery. With Internet e-mail there are many possible delays and failures, some of which are not under our control. Mail may also be retained or suppressed on our system at any time for any length of time, due to maintenance, moderation, system failure, or other reasons.

List Policy is Not Negotiable

We attempt to enforce our guidelines and mail list policies fairly. Arguing about policies on a mail list with a moderator or administrative staff is out of bounds, and may result in remedial action. Discussion of mail list policies and guidelines is inappropriate on the lists. However, users may sometimes wish to point out when others are in flagrant violation of guidelines. Rather than bother all subscribers, please consider filing a complaint via the contact form or contacting the offending user privately.

Posting Limits

Unless specifically requested by a moderator to limit their postings, users are not limited in the number or size of messages. However, most lists have overall message size limitations, mainly to keep bandwidth down for remote subscribers. If you have nothing material to contribute to a high-volume discussion, you should consider remaining silent.

Noise and Focus

Sometimes a list will have a lot of traffic that you do not find interesting. Please remember that all discussions annoy somebody. Later, a discussion of interest to you may be "noise" to someone else. We endeavor to keep a high level of focus on the list topics and to avoid excessive gratuitous posting. We endeavor to keep the signal to noise ratio pleasing to a broad community, but that may not please everyone equally. A mail list is also a social organization, and as such, there will inevitably be some off-topic posting, fun, and games. This is not inherently discouraged unless it dominates a list for a length of time. If you have a complaint about "noise", over-posting, or anything else, you are welcome to remind people to remain focused, or in extreme cases to file a complaint with the moderator. To do so, please use the contact form.


We keep statistics on mail list activity. These statistics are only applicable to the main public-access mail list. The data are updated from time to time and available on our mail list statistics page. We may refer to these statistics and take any action we feel is necessary to maintain the mail list as a community resource that is balanced and comfortable, focused, broadly useful, and relevant to the subscriber base. One of the occasional problems on mail lists is the domination of resources by a small number of vocal subscribers. We may use statistics to help us decide when to undertake remedial action.

Our statistics page is open for public perusal. (The name and password for guest access to that page, and the mail list archives, are posted on the mail archives page.) We do not retain any personal or personally identifiable information other than what appears in e-mail sent to our server. All of the statistics for a list are derived exclusively from the list postings plus the subscriber list. Statistics on subscribers who post the most frequently are also available for each month back to March 2001 on a past statistics page.

Additional Guidelines

You may be subject to remedial action if any of the following apply to you:

  • You post spam, make excessive ad hominem remarks, post offensive material, use profanity, post job listings or advertisements, or engage in employment recruiting.
  • You consistently post a high percentage of the messages on the list, or post on average too many messages per day. ("High" means over 5% during a reporting period.)
  • Your messages contain excessive quotations from other list messages. (Please edit and trim to include small, relevant quotes, or use a URL to point to the archives.)

Remedial Action

Remedial actions to any situation arising on the list may include the following, at the moderator's sole discretion:

  • moderation (pre-screening of all postings);
  • limitations on size, topic, or frequency of postings;
  • refusal to post some or all messages;
  • editorial trimming of messages that overquote or are too long;
  • removal from a mail list.

Further Caveats

We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason or no reason. We reserve the right to unilaterally deny e-mail access and relaying from any user or domain for any reason or no reason, without notice. Posting to our public access lists does not imply any guarantee of delivery. Your subscription may be moderated or terminated at any time without notice.