Use the Lasqueti E-mail List

January 2022 until further notice
Temporary Hold on Covid-19 Opinion Pieces

Subscribing to the list

To subscribe to the Lasqueti E-mail List, you must have a "connection" to Lasqueti and its community.  Simply visit:

  • Select Lasqueti Maillist.
  • Fill out the Subscription Form - it looks like this:

Subscribing to Lasqueti_Maillist

The system needs to confirm you email, so watch for the confirmation message and follow the instructions to complete the process.

Note: email providers with aggressive spam filters (e.g., gmail) often classify these messages as spam.  Be sure to check your spam / promotions folder on gmail and drag messages back to your inbox to "train" the spam filter.  Better yet, whitelist all email from

Sending Messages to the List

The Lasqueti e-mail list is semi-automated, but every message is "moderated" by one of several community volunteers before being sent out to you.  The list moderators ensure that spam is removed, and that submissions don't include long "reply quotes" or "signatures", or other irrelevant and distracting stuff (see Moderatrion Guidelines for details).

Please get time-sensitive postings sent in as early as possible - certainly by early evening - or your message may languish "in the queue" for a day.  You can (and should) post event notices, important announcements, or classified ads on the Lasqueti web site (see ) - such posts are automatically cross-posted to the e-mail list. This allows anyone who checks the website, including those who do not subscribe to the e-mail list, to learn about your post right away.

If something very important, and time-sensitive, and comes up at the last moment, you could consider calling one of the moderators, wake them up and ask them to get out of bed, turn on their computer, and approve your posting. It had better be important and have just come up, and not be late because you didn't get around to it earlier.  And should be followed-up with a nice loaf of bread, a chocolate cake, or other offering of appeasement ;-)

Managing Your Subscription Preferences

Subscription Options An account on is required to manage your subscription preferences.  This is not the same as a subscription to a particular email list - it is an account on the web service to manage subscriptions.

"Sign Up" for an account using link at top-right.  You will need to confirm your email address, as usual.

Once logged in, use the drop-down menu under your name in top-right corner too access your "Mailman settings".  Here you can manage your subscriptions with "Global preferences" (defaults that apply to all your list subscriptions), or "List-based Preferences" to override your default preference for individual subscriptions.
The "Account" settings on this same menu allows up to update your personal profile and change your password.

The screenshot below shows the preferences you can configure for your list subscription(s).

Temporary Hold on Covid-19 Opinion Pieces

The Lasqueti email list currently has a temporary moratorium on full length opinion pieces related to Covid and vaccines.

If you want to share your thoughts on those topics with the list readers, please put them into a personal blog article.  Your message to the list should contain only:

  • a meaningful subject line,
  • the link to your blog, and
  • a brief (25 words max) explanation of the content of your blog post.

For the duration of the moratorium, only posts that meet these restrictions will be accepted.  Any links to external sites supporting your views should not be included directly in your email to the list, rather you should include them in the blog article.

We know this is inconvenient and appreciate your cooperation through this period.

But What If I Don't Have a Blog?

Every Lasquetian has access to a free, personal blog, on   Here's how:

  1. You'll need an account on - the account is free, you can register here
  2. Full instructions for posting to your blog are here:
  3. Save’ your article and you will be taken to the page showing your blog. You will see an ‘Edit’ tab at the top of the page. This tab is only visible to you, and allows you to edit your article any time.
  4. Copy the web address (URL) of this page. It will typically be located top-center in your web browser. Paste the URL into an email message (it will turn into a link folks can click on when they receive your email)
  5. Add a subject line and a brief (25 words max) explanation of what your blog post is about for the list readers , and send it to email_list [at] lasqueti [dot] ca

Pro tip: web editors can be finicky. If you are planning to write a longer piece, it is a good idea to use your computer’s text editor or something like a notes app to compose your article and copy-paste it into your blog. That way, you will have a backup if things go sideways.

If you already have a personal blog space or other channel on a different site, you may submit a link to any personal blog site.

Isn't Moderation just another word for Censorship?

There is often speculation about how the email list moderators make decisions.  That speculation has, at times, devolved into rumours and accusations of bias and censorship.  Given that most list moderation work happens in private, it's not surprising that some see it as a secretive, perhaps shady process.

This essay is intended to lift the curtain, shed a little light what happens on the list behind-the-scenes.

Do the list moderators practice censorship?

Yes. Some content sent to the Lasqueti email list is censored.  Absolutely.
We reject and discard dozens of messages every month.

  • Spammers, scammers, and every form of huckster and fraudster would love to get their content on the list - all those messages are censored.
  • Occasionally, when tempers flare, people send personal attacks or other libellous or hate-filled content - those get censored too.
  • The list readers have expressed a strong desire for concise posts, and to not be inundated with repetitive posts from any individual, so we set some limits on the length and frequency of posts.

But these are not what most folks mean when they say the list is "censored".  Usually they mean a post of theirs has been "rejected", and they feel their opinion is being stifled.

What does a "rejection notice" mean?

The email list software uses unfortunate terminology:  "accept" "reject" "approve", "discard", ...
These terms merely describe an action a moderator can take (literally the labels on one of the limited set of buttons they can press).  Unfortunately these terms also carry a lot of baggage. 

When a moderator "approves" a message, they are not signaling they "approve of" the message content.  Nor when they "reject" a message are they "rejecting" the value of its ideas or the person posting it.  Though it's easy to see how people interpret it that way.

Most importantly, when a post is "rejected", the poster is invited to re-send their message back to the list.  It is not a "rejection" so much as it is an opportunity for a "sober 2nd look" at your post from the perspective of a 3rd party who has taken time to read it carefully and think about how it will be perceived by list readers.

The vast majority of posters are grateful for the compassion in that act.  But it does really piss some other off.

In case you've never receive a "rejection notice", here's the current template we use to notify a poster of the issue and what they can do to correct it:  Rejection Notice Template

Why would a moderator "reject" a message?

Content moderation is an extremely difficult balance.  All over the world large media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and news comment boards are struggling to define objective criteria and processes for moderating content.  They spend millions $$ on research and moderation teams.  Here on the list, our approach has been to accept that content moderation is a subjective task, and to reduce bias in those subjective decisions by:

  • applying a set of guidelines - principles shaped by the feedback we receive from list subscribers - that help us make consistent, fair, equitable decisions. 
    Those guidelines are public and constantly being updated as we learn:
    List Moderatrion Guidelines
  • sharing the load to ensure no individual has an out-sized role in controlling the list content - if a message is "rejected" by one moderator, that moderator then abstains from moderating the post a 2nd time if it is resent;  moderators don't approve their own posts.

Occasionally a list moderator might feel compelled to offer some advice or perspective to a poster who has perhaps made a post in haste and maybe hasn't imagined how it might be (mis)interpreted.   Some call this over-reach, others see it as an act of compassion, both for the sender and readers.  It is these cases that cause the most controversy.

But what if a moderator IS biased?

The moderators are volunteers, not professionals.  They are subject to the same biases and blind spots as all of us.  And they make mistakes.  If you expect perfect, unbiased, objective moderation 100% of the time, you are going to be disappointed.

However, the protocols used to moderate list traffic ensure no individual moderator can make unilateral final decisions.  For efficiency, moderators mostly work independently, each making a judgement call on the messages they process. 
When a moderator makes a bad call, three corrective feedbacks are in place:

  1. the list moderators have a private discussion about the post; debate the merits of the decision;  adjust our practices and update the moderation guidelines as needed (this happens a lot more often than you might imagine);
  2. the list readers let us know, publicly or privately, that a bad decision was made; and/or
  3. the original poster may re-send their post for another moderator to evaluate.

The people who moderate list traffic are bound to be biased.  Recognizing that, we put in place mechanisms to ensure the list functions fairly and democratically in any case.

How did the email list originate?

Peter has written a compact history of the email list here:
A Short History of the Lasqueti Email List



The emal list "rejection notice"

No one likes to be rejected.  This term is overloaded with value judgments that simply are not intended when a post to the list is "rejected".

The rejection notice is intended to accomplish 3 things:

  1. alert the poster their message did not go out to the list subscribers;
  2. provide a rationale for why the post was not "accepted" (usually by stating which moderation guideline the message failed to adhere to); and
  3. provide some information about how the issue can be corrected and the options the poster has to re-submit their message.

For those who've never received a "rejection notice", here's what that looks like:


email_list [at] lasqueti [dot] ca is moderated by a group of volunteers.

Moderation requests to reconsider a post are not uncommon.
A moderator took time to review your message and is returning it with their subjective opinion:

Re: "Posting of your message titled "A long-winded diatribe on the state of man"

This message exceeds the 500 word limit for list posts. 
Please consider posting your article on and sending summary with a link to the list.

Please choose to interpret this as an attempt to help, and then:

1) revise / edit your post and resend it,
2) stand by your original message and resend it as-is (not as a reply please!)
3) wait and think on it 

In any case, a different moderator will handle any follow-up post.

This process ensures that moderation is ultimately a shared-decision while allowing moderators to work efficiently without consulting on every message.
And it allows moderators to err on the side of caution: a message returned can simply be resent, but a message approved can never be retracted.

List Moderation Guidelines:

These guidelines are a continuously evolving expression of our collective experience, community norms, and feedback.   
Their goal is to keep the list useful for its subscribers and provide some guidance aimed at reducing bias and improving fairness and consistency.

Moderators can not edit your message, only accept or reject it.
Please be sure to send any follow-up post EXACTLY as it should go out to the list readers.

If you have constructive feedback or ideas for improving the list or moderation guidelines please send them out to the community on the email list, or feel free to contact us with any concerns or questions.

moderators [at] lists [dot] lasqueti [dot] ca