Moderation of O365 Distribution Groups

This article explains how to manage moderation on a distribution group that you own. This includes turning on moderation, choosing who can moderate the group and whether there should be any exemptions from moderation.

This can only be done from the web browser version of Outlook (via Office365, The instructions below are all explained through this version.

Accessing moderation settings

Log into Office365 using the link above and click the Outlook icon to open it in your web browser. 

Once opened, click the settings cog in the top right of the window. This will open a column along the right-hand side of the screen, click 'view all Outlook settings' at the bottom. 

This will open a settings menu. Select 'general' and then 'distribution groups', this page will allow you to view what distribution groups you belong to and which you are an owner of. 

Click on the group that you would like to manage and then click the pencil edit icon just below the 'distribution groups I own' header. This will open a new settings window, select the 'message approval' tab to access moderation settings. 

Turning on moderation

Within this moderation settings panel there will be a few things you are able to do in relation to email moderation. The first will be a check box with the message 'Messages sent to this group have to be approved by a moderator'. If you would like moderation on your distribution group then this must be checked to go any further. If this is unchecked then there is no moderation on your distribution group and mail can be sent freely to it by anyone with the distribution group address. 

Adding or removing moderators

If this check box has been checked, you will be able to add or remove moderators under the 'Group moderators:' panel. To add a moderator, click the plus which will open an address book menu. Select 'all users' and then search either the full name or the username of the person you would to add as a moderator. Click the plus next to their name and then save in the bottom right. This will add them as a moderator on the distribution group. 

To remove a moderator simply click their name in the 'Group moderators:' menu and then the minus button which will remove them from moderating the group. 

Adding senders who can bypass moderation

The next part in these settings is a similar menu with the header 'Senders who don't require message approval'. If moderation is active on your distribution group then these senders will be able to send to the group without their mail being checked by a moderator first. Please ensure you only add people that you trust to this group because of this. You can add or remove them in the same way as you would add or remove a moderator. 

To set the group so that only posts from someone who is not a member of the group are moderated, add the distribution group itself to this section. You can do this by selecting 'all distribution groups' in the address book, searching for the distribution group itself and adding it as a member to this section. 

Moderation notifications

The final part of these settings is 'Choose when to send moderation notifications'. There are three options:

Approving or rejecting moderated email

You will receive an email when a message is waiting to be moderated, with voting buttons at the top of the email allowing you to approve or reject it. 

The screenshot below is an example of an email you would receive as a moderator on a distribution group. You have the choice to either 'approve' the email which would send it to all members of the distribution group or 'reject' it which would delete the email and prevent it from reaching any of the members on the group. 

If you choose to reject the email then the sender will receive an email that will look similar to the screenshot below (if moderation notifications are turned on).