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Subject: soc.history.war.vietnam FAQ: Admin Info and Posting Guidelines
This article was archived around: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 10:25:23 -0700
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (SHWV Moderating Team)
Subject: soc.history.war.vietnam FAQ: Admin Info and Posting Guidelines
Posting-Frequency: monthly (1st)
This announcement supersedes any previous ones.
General Information, Posting Guidelines and Charter
Welcome. If you're reading this, it's fair to guess that
you have some interest in the Vietnam / Indochina Wars and
This document has been prepared to give you some idea
of What soc.history.war.vietnam is all about, how to post
to the newsgroup, and what resources are currently
available. For more information and links to all the
resources listed here, please visit one of our websites.
The SHWV Moderating Team
Table of Contents
1. Soc.history.war.vietnam and How It Came to Be.
2. SHWV Resources.
2a. Newsgroup FAQs.
2b. SHWV Newsgroup Archives
2c. Vietnam War Internet Project Website
2c1. Image Library
2c2. Article Resources
2c3. Memoirs and Personal Narratives
2c4. Document Resources
2c5. Resource / Topical Index
2c6. Oral History Project
3. Administrative Information
4. Posting Guidelines.
5. The Charter
Section 1. Soc.history.war.vietnam and How It Came to Be
In the middle of 1994, after lengthy discussion and
debate within the newsgroup alt.war.vietnam, it was decided
to form a new newsgroup dedicated to the discussion of the
Vietnam War. Alt.war.vietnam, being an unmoderated
newsgroup was subject to considerable chaos caused by
innumerable flame wars, shouting, mud-slinging matches
and outright mayhem. As a result, those who were coming to
the Usenet for some healing and understanding of the events
as well as those who where interested in the study of wars
in Indochina were getting disgusted, or worse, hurt by what
The first thought had been to moderate the existing
newsgroup, alt.war.vietnam, but that was met almost
universally with a negative response. The second idea was
to create a new newsgroup, and in the process put it on the
mainstream hierarchy. So began the process by which this
newsgroup came into being in the first half of 1995.
Soc.History.War.Vietnam (SHWV) was created to provide
an open forum for the objective discussion of the Vietnam
and Indochinese wars, their causes, aftermath, and effect
on the people and societies which took part in them. The
use of a moderator was intended to provide an environment
that is conducive to this discussion, and open to all
categories of potential readers/ contributors without
regard to ideological or political positions. All this is
laid out in the Charter of the newsgroup.
Section 2. SHWV Resources
2a. Newsgroup FAQs
Part of the charter has also been the call for the
creation of Frequently Asked Questions FAQ papers to answer
the more commonly asked questions which continually crop up
within the newsgroup about aspects of the Vietnam War.
These FAQs are posted to both soc.history.war.vietnam and
news.answers on a regular basis. Current FAQs cover topics
such as: Vietnam Related Internet Resources; the SHWV
Recommended Reading List; the Tonkin Gulf Incident; Use of
Armoured Vehicles in the Vietnam War; USAF gunships; and
aspects of the Australian involvement in Vietnam.
The process of developing FAQs is ongoing. Others on
people, places and events of the various Indochina Wars are
being worked on, and will be posted as available.
The moderators of the newsgroup, in accordance with
the Charter, have the sole responsibility for the
development and content of any newsgroup FAQs. Any person
who believes that they have specialized in-depth knowledge
of a topic that wishes to submit a FAQ for review is
encouraged to do so by sending it to:
FAQs will be posted for comment on the newsgroup for a
period of at least one month. More time maybe allocated at
the discretion of the moderators. During this period, the
designation [RFD] will precede the subject in the header.
FAQs will be submitted to news.answers and soc.answers upon
completion of this process.
All FAQs are available at the Vietnam War Internet
Project website at:
In addition, FAQs are also available by anonymous ftp
2b. SHWV Newsgroup Archives
All articles posted to soc.history.war.vietnam are
regularly archived in log files. However, to save storage
space, monthly FAQs postings will only be archived when a
2c. Vietnam War Internet Project Website
The SHWV archives are now part of, and affiliated
with, the Vietnam War Internet Project (VWIP). Articles and
bibliographies that have been posted to SHWV and other
related material are maintained at the VWIP website at the
Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidental Library located at the
University of Texas in Austin at:
This website offers many features that are not
available directly through the newsgroup. These include:
1. The Image Library
The Vietnam War Internet Project website contains a
substantial image library, including most of those previous
housed at the Byrd Archives, and a large collection of
armor and gunship photos. The Image Library may be accessed
from the homepage.
Individuals with images that they would like to see
appropriately posted on the web are urged to post such
images to the newsgroup (in uuencoded form) if they are
small, or to send them directly to the newsgroup's
information address (email@example.com) for
placement on the website. Please include as full a
description of the image, including date and location, as
2. Articles Resource Pages
A number of articles have been posted to SHWV. To
ensure easy accessibility of these pieces, they are
archived not only within the logfiles but separately on the
websites. Articles of all types and from all aspects of the
debate on the Indochina Wars are welcome. If you have an
article that you wish to add, please submit it for posting
on the newsgroup. SHWV articles, as well as others not
posted to the newsgroup, are available at the VWIP
through the homepage
3. Memoirs and Personal Narrative Pages
Over time, the archives of the newsgroup have become a
valuable reference resource in terms of the discussion
about the contested nature of the issues surrounding the
war and in the oral history included in the articles
labeled "PER NAR". They are included in the logfile
archives of the newsgroup. They are also available as part
of the Memoirs and Personal Narrative section of the
VWIP website. so that they may be more readily
accessible as a resource. This section may be accessed from
the VWIP homepage.
4. Document Resources
A long term project by the Vietnam War Internet
Project, documents relating to the Indochina Wars are being
placed on the web. New documents will be added frequently.
This section may be accessed from the VWIP homepage.
5. Resource / Topical Index
The Vietnam War Internet Project offers topical
indexes both by subject and by author. As part of an
ongoing project, topics will have a short descriptive
entry, validated and recommended web sites, bibliographical
information and lists of related topics. As part of this
project, SHWV moderator Ted Gittinger is working on a
full topical index of the soc.history.war.vietnam
newsgroup which will be a stand-alone entity as well as
being integrated into the VWIP index.
6. Oral History Project
The Vietnam War Internet Project is also engaged in an
ongoing project to bring to the web existing oral history
collections, such as the one at the LBJ Library, and will
be collecting its own series of interviews with "street
level" folks - regular soldiers, sailors, anti-war
activists, etc. This section is due to open by June 2002.
Section 3. Administrative Information
The moderated newsgroup soc.history.war.vietnam is
dedicated to the discussion of the Vietnam / Indochina
wars, their antecedents and their aftermath. All points of
view and disciplines are welcome. It is our hope to create
a "flame-free" environment in which discourse is possible,
and perhaps even some healing and understanding.
The current moderators for soc.history.war.vietnam are:
Joe Carwithen: Appeals Referee
Alan Dawson: Media Advisor
Ted Gittinger: Newsgroup Indexer
Edwin E. Moise: History/FAQ Advisor
Brian Ross: Moderator Emeritus
John Tegtmeier: Webmaster, FAQ Coordinator
Frank Vaughan: Active Moderator
Requests for information concerning the newsgroup
should be addressed at to the contact address, not to the
individual moderators, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to contact us with any question or
suggestion. We hope that you all will enjoy and profit from
Section 4. Posting Guidelines.
The criteria for postings are contained in the
Charter. To assist those who wish to post articles to the
newsgroup, the posting guidelines below were developed. The
expressed goal of the newsgroup - to develop a flame-free
environment for discussion of all aspects of the Indochina
War - is the overarching principle in all posting
The submission of an article to this newsgroup
implicitly gives permission for that article to be archived
for distribution, and for quotation of that article within
this newsgroup for the purpose of discussion. All other
rights are assumed to remain with the contributor under the
Postings are to be done in plain ASCII test. Postings
using other character sets that result in non-standard
characters appearing may, at the discretion of the
moderator, be returned to the poster with instructions to
resubmit using ASCII text. The moderator may manually
change the nonstandard characters into Ascii, at his or her
Please remember that this is a moderated newsgroup. We
are not on-line all day long (this is all volunteer work)
so there may be some delay from the time you post to the
time your article appears on the newsgroup. We will try to
get articles up as soon as is possible, normally within a
24 hour time frame.
The charter requires that postings deal with the
Indochina Wars, their antecedents and their aftermath (see
Below concerning current events). This is to include
political philosophy and social factors. This also means
the mind set of all the participants at the time, and in
the present to the extent that this reflects on the
aftermath of the wars. It was made clear from the outset
that this was a multi-discipline newsgroup, not just
history. It is set up as such in the charter.
Posters should restrict their comments to the above.
Posts containing ANY material not included within the scope
of the newsgroup, or legitimate rebuttal to material
already posted, will be returned.
A word about current event postings - these articles
need to conform to the topic guideline. That is, the
submission must directly link to the Indochina Wars and
their aftermath. Such topics might include: POW/MIAs,
refugee issues, drug trade, prostitution, environment
issues arising from herbicides, old ordinance, etc. This
does not include the current policies of the Hanoi
government, economic trade (except as it is tied to a war
related issue) or similiar topics. Such articles are more
properly included in bit.listserv.seasia-l or one of the
The decision as to an article being admissible resides
with the moderators, who were named as part of the voting
process for the newsgroup, and their successors, as
provided in the charter. Further comments on the propriety
of material shall be deemed as flames, and rejected.
2. Personal Attacks.
Articles must be free of personal attacks on
individuals in the readership on the newsgroup. Since the
exact readership of soc.history.war.vietnam is unknown at
any given time, this requirement may be extended, at the
discretion of the moderators, to include any personal
attack. The determination for this will be context
sensitive. The public acts of public figures are, of
course, open to critique, but only these public acts. The
same is true of organizations which similarly are also open
to a higher level of critique. Posters should restrict
their comments to the material and the discourse
surrounding the material. ANY COMMENTS OF A PERSONAL NATURE
REGARDING ANOTHER POSTERS INTENTIONS, MOTIVES, BELIEFS,
ETC. SHALL BE DEEMED A PERSONAL ATTACK, AND REJECTED. The
moderating team reserves the right to examine the body of a
poster's submission history in order to determine if an
implicit pattern of harassment exists, and to use this
determination as part of the criteria in evaluating
Characterizations of another individual's beliefs or
views as "ridiculous", "stupid", "lies" or any similar
label may be deemed, depending upon the context, not as a
critique of the material but as personal attack, and
therefore rejected. Posters will restrict themselves to a
rebuttal of the material and issues raised in an article
without including derogatory or condescending insults.
The moderators may, at their discretion, remove a
single line or sentence of text containing a personal
attack if, in the judgment of the moderator, that single
line would result in the posting being returned to the
author, and that there is sufficient value and timeliness
in the posting that such a delay might render the posting
moot. Any poster may request that this not be done but runs
the risk that their entire posting may be returned.
3. The Goal of the Newsgroup
The goal of this newsgroup, as outlined at the time of
the voting for its creation, was to promote a flame-free
environment for discourse and to provide a forum in which
various sides of the debate, coming from differing
backgrounds, could exchange ideas. Posters are asked to
bear this in mind. Posts seeking to restrict this open
availability to all sides of the debate shall be considered
flames, and will be rejected.
No articles of a commercial nature will be posted,
with the exception of informational sources of not-for-
profit groups which, at the discretion of the moderators,
offer important benefits. Announcements of forthcoming or
recent publications in the field will also be allowed on a
informational basis. Any articles containing advertising of
any services for fee must conform to the above to be
eligible for posting.
Please be aware of the copyright laws as they pertain
to your submissions. They are a lot stricter than you may
think. Under the Berne convention, just about everything is
presumed to be protected, even if not expressly stated. The
rule of thumb is simply that unless the person has
expressly put the material in the public domain, it should
be treated as protected. As stated above, articles posted
to soc.history.war.vietnam may be quoted for the purpose of
discussion on this newsgroup. If you need more complete
information, please look at the copyright myth FAQ on the
Quotations from published sources for the purposes of
discussion or illumination are acceptable, as long as those
quotations fall within the fair use provisions of the
6. Net etiquette
Posters are asked to voluntarily adhere to common
practice in regard to net etiquette and the posting of
articles. Quotes from prior posts should not be more than
50% of a posting, and those sections quoted should have a
direct bearing on the commentary in the new article.
Signature files should be restricted to 4 lines. The
expansion of the number of Usenet newsgroups, as well as
the number of sites getting news feeds, have increased
dramatically, taxing the net's ability to carry the load.
Quoting a forty line article to say "I agree" is selfish.
Please use the editing features of your newsreaders and
stick to the essentials. The moderators reserve the right
to edit excessive quotation from submitted articles.
7. Personal Narratives
It has been our policy for quite some time to treat
personal narratives - articles marked "PER NAR" in the
subject header - as oral history.
Respondents may ask appropriate questions, but the
content of the articles is considered privileged, and may
not be attacked. This holds true not only for vets, but for
those who were active in the anti-war movement.
The rationale behind this is simple - it is more
beneficial to the newsgroup to have oral history posted
than it is for potential posters to refrain for fear of
confrontation and critique of their actions years ago. This
will include public figures.
8. Cross-posting Articles.
Request to cross-post articles will not be honored.
Posters who are replying to articles posted on other
newsgroups must include the entire original article within
their to soc.history.war.vietnam posting.
This is to insure that articles are not taken out of
context, and that the author of the original article has an
opportunity to respond.
9. Relay posting
In the event a relay posting (one author, a different
poster) the moderators may, at their discretion, add a
suitable advisory at the beginning of the posting,
clarifying that the SHWV moderating team cannot vouch for
the accuracy of the material in question. The moderators
may use, but are not required to use, the following
[Moderator disclaimer: the posting below is authored
by one party and posted by another. As a matter of policy,
the SHWV moderating team does not make any judgment on the
authenticity of the material, nor on its original
10. Quoted material
It is the policy of the newsgroup that quoted material
must be presented verbatim, although it should be trimmed
to a manageable length. If quoted material is changed in a
manner that, in the judgement of the moderators, changes
the original author's meaning or intent then the moderators
may either restore the original quoted material, and post a
notice that they have done so, or return the posting to the
author with instructions to restore the quote and resubmit.
The moderators may also trim excessive quotation of
old material, or, at their discretion, return it to the
poster in accordance with netiquette and accepted practice
on the usenet. In the event moderators trim excessively
quoted material, they may, but are not required to, add an
advisory to the message similar to:
[Excessively quoted material trimmed by the
The moderator's will honor any poster's request to
have articles returned rather than trimmed.
11. Typographical Errors
1. Spelling: The moderators may, at their discretion,
correct obvious spelling errors in postings, but are under
no obligation to do so.
2. Capitalization: The moderators may, at their
discretion, correct obvious capitalization errors, but are
under no obligation to do so. The moderators may, at their
discretion, return postings for correction by their
original author that do not use reasonably standard
capitalization. The moderators are the sole judge of
"reasonably standard capitalization."
12. Format For Posting
This newsgroup, and its moderating process, are
conducted in English. Articles in other languages related
to the newsgroup, such as Vietnamese, Lao, French, etc.,
will be accepted for posting only if accompanied by a full
All articles should be submitted in plain US ASCII
text. Postings in HTML will be returned to the author.
No binary files will be posted. Binaries may be
submitted, but they will be placed on the Vietnam War
Internet Project website (if relevant). The article posting
to the newsgroup will only refer to the url of the binary
file (image, audio, etc). In no case are executable files
13. Appeal Process
There is an appeal process if you believe that your
article was unfairly rejection. Please refer to the Charter
for full information. Essentially, all that is required to
appeal is to send an e-mail reply of the rejection notice
to all moderators by replying to the newsgroup's contact
address, email@example.com, with the word APPEAL in
the Subject: line. Posters appealing moderating decisions
should outline the reasons why they believe the submission
should be posted. All appeals will be run by the Appeals
Referee, who will not be part of the regular Posting Team.
Section 5. The Charter
1. Aim & Purpose of Soc.History.War.Vietnam
This newsgroup will provide an open forum for the
objective discussion of the Vietnam and Indochinese wars,
their causes, aftermath, and effect on the people and
societies which took part in them. The use of a moderator
is intended to provide an environment that is conducive to
this discussion, and open to all categories of potential
readers/ contributors - academics, veterans, members of the
anti-war movement, students, and anyone else with an
interest - without regard to ideological or political
The wars in Vietnam and Indochina in the middle of the
twentieth century not only bred armed conflict between
combatants, but also divisiveness and social conflict
within the societies of some of the participicants in the
conflicts. In the United States, some believe that the war
has transcended its historical moment to become a culture
icon for the turbulence of the sixties. At any rate, there
still exists a great desparity in the understandings of the
social, political and historic circumstances of the war,
and its continued influence on various societies.
Soc.history.war.vietnam will seek to promote a discourse
which will allow these positions to be explored. Perhaps,
in this way, the newsgroup may be instrumental in achieving
a better understanding of the events, and may even assist
in the process of healing.
2. The Function of the Moderators
This newsgroup shall have an active moderator, and at
least two co-moderators. It shall be the responsibility of
the active moderator to screen postings to the newsgroup,
and elimante those which are: a. flames, insults and
attacks directed at a person rather than a position; b.
flames that use derogatory labels to depict whole
categories of people, such as veterans or members of the
anti-war movement, etc.; c. articles that have no
connection to the Vietnam or Indochina wars, their causes,
effects or aftermath; and d. any message of a commercial
nature. The active moderator may not screen postings for
merit of argument, nor for their political or ideological
content. All articles that are rejected will be sent back
to the contributor with a short message explaining the
reason for rejection. Such rejections may be appealed as
The co-moderators serve in a back-up capacity, so as
to insure continuity during either a temporary or permanent
change in the status of the active moderator. In addition,
the co-moderators will have the responsibility, along with
the active moderator, for voting on appeals of rejected
posts, the appointment of new moderators, and the possible
removal of a current moderator as outlined below.
3. Appeal of Rejection of Posts
If a contributor whose post has been rejected wishes
to appeal this action, the current active moderator will
forward this request and the post in question to all co-
moderators for a vote. If the majority of all moderators
votes to overrule the rejection, the article will be sent
to the newsgroup. If the post is rejected, the person
appealing the rejection will be sent a summary of the
votes by the moderators.
4. Appointment of New Moderators
New co-moderators will be appointed as necessary
through the nomination of an individual by the other
moderators. The appointment will require a unanimous vote
of the current moderators to pass. The new co-moderator's
name will then be submitted to the newsgroup for a five day
discussion period. During these five days, any of the
current moderators may change their vote in response to
this discussion. At the end of the five days, if all the
moderators are still in agreement, the nominee becomes a
5. Removal of a Moderator
A moderator may be removed for the following causes:
a. failure to perform the outlined duties of the position,
2. a pattern of biased or discriminatory rejections of
postings. Such removal will be made by the formal vote of
all current moderators. A 2/3rds vote in favor of such
action will be required for removal. The reasons for, and
results of, all such votes will be posted to the newsgroup.
The moderators, as a group, will be responsible for
the development and posting of a frequently asked question
(FAQ) file for this newsgroup.
7. Posting of Charter and Moderators List
This charter will be reposted, along with the list of
current moderators to the newsgroup every month.