Our goal for the EFA Discussion List is to provide a respectful, friendly environment where editorial professionals can connect with one another, ask questions, and share ideas and feedback. It is a place for professional learning, support, collaboration, and brainstorming, and we welcome both new and longtime editorial freelancers.

By participating in this Discussion List, you are agreeing to this Code of Conduct, which requires adherence to the EFA’s Anti-Harassment Policy.

Code of Conduct


● Be respectful. We expect Discussion List members to be respectful, professional, polite, and considerate at all times.

● Be welcoming. Remember back to when you were a brand-new freelancer and be welcoming to new members and those just getting started. Just because these members are new doesn’t mean they don’t have valuable ideas to contribute. Make them feel welcome!

● Improve the discussion. Before posting, take a moment to consider whether your post is helpful and relevant to the conversation. Out of respect for members’ time and attention, refrain from posting redundant information, posting excessively, or writing extremely long posts. Topics unrelated to your work should use the #CHAT hashtag.

● Stay on topic. Instead of taking an existing topic in a radically different direction, please open a new thread. This helps keep threads organized by making sure the discussion matches the subject line and hashtag(s).

● Respect others’ privacy. Don’t share sensitive or personal information about others, including clients and their projects. Respect everyone’s right to privacy.

● Don’t be a grammar snob. Please do not correct your fellow freelancers’ spelling, grammar, or usage. The focus of the List should remain on the ideas expressed.

● Include your name in your posts. To build a healthy online community that prioritizes professionalism, transparency, and collegiality, we require that you include a post signature with your full name. Visit this page for current guidelines and instructions on how to properly format your signature.

● Help keep the list tidy. Follow these three simple guidelines to keep the Discussion List organized and clean:

  1. Include the correct hashtag (if you don’t, the message will bounce back).
  2. Add a clear and specific subject to your message. (Don’t post a message using only a hashtag in the subject line.)
  3. Quote only the relevant material when replying to a post. (If you’re on digest, remove the digest below your message first.)

To help keep the list tidy and timely, threads (called Topics in GIO) will be locked 90 days after the initial post.

Questions on how to use the List or search the archives? Please visit our FAQ page.

What We Don't Allow

● Hate speech and discrimination. We do not tolerate speech that attacks a person or group of people on the basis of who they are, or communications or comments that are insulting, degrading, aggressive, or threatening, including but not limited to those based on race, color, culture, religion or no religion, gender identity, gender expression, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, citizenship, education, ability, health, neurotype, marital/parental status, political beliefs, socio-economic background, sexual orientation, and/or military status.

● Personal attacks, bullying, harassment, or abuse. We do not tolerate personal attacks, bullying, harassment, abuse, or any repeated or habitual intimidation or badgering. This includes trolling (posting messages in an attempt to instigate conflict, hostility, or arguments) and flaming (posting messages that attack, insult, and/or are hostile toward a person or group and may include excessive sarcasm, ridicule, and/or innuendo). It also includes sending, posting, or sharing false or defamatory content about someone else.

Discussion List members have diverse opinions and perspectives, and it’s okay to disagree with something by making a reasoned counter-argument that improves the discussion. However, do not attack, abuse, or be rude to a colleague in posts to the DL or in private communications based on exchanges on the DL—this includes insults and name-calling. Also avoid responding to a post’s tone instead of its content.

Remember that what you consider teasing or kidding may be perceived as insulting, aggressive, degrading, or threatening by someone else. It’s best practice to avoid snark, sarcasm, and jokes you might hear in a bar or locker room.

● Sexually suggestive or explicit content and profanity. This is a professional community. Verbal, written, and nonverbal comments or communications or actions that are sexually graphic or sexually suggestive may constitute harassment. Avoid using profanity.

● Threats. We do not tolerate threatening remarks or aggressive or hostile behavior. In extraordinary cases, we may report threats of violence to law enforcement.

● Spam. Content that we deem spam will be removed. “Spam” refers to repeated posting of the same or similar message, whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

● Advertising. Advertising is not allowed. However, if a product or service is directly relevant to EFA members, you may announce it once in a brief message. If you are unsure if your post is considered advertising, contact the moderators before posting.

● Self-promotion. Any self-promotion (e.g., sharing your blog post, your new website, or kind words from clients) must be tagged #CHAT.

● Copyrighted content. As editorial professionals, we need to be particularly vigilant regarding copyright violations. Do not post copyrighted material beyond accepted fair use.

For security reasons, attachments are not permitted on this list. If you post a message with an attachment, it will be stripped off.

A Note on Job Postings

Legitimate, professional-quality jobs or opportunities that have been publicly advertised outside of the EFA (e.g., on an organization’s website or a job website) may be posted once on the Discussion List as long as the guidelines for that website allow for outside reposting. Use the #BIZ hashtag for these posts. However, if you or a colleague (e.g., a fellow editor or a client) want to hire an EFA member, such as for a specific project, and the job post has not been listed elsewhere, please submit the job to the EFA Job List or search the EFA Member Directory for an appropriate freelancer.

When in doubt, please contact  the moderators before posting.


What Discussion List Members Can Do

● If you see content that breaks our rules, contact us. Our moderators will evaluate each reported post and educate members about our rules. You can opt to disengage by not replying or by muting the channel or the individual thread. Please do not reply to the entire list if you’re trying to notify a moderator of a potential problem.

What Discussion List Moderators Can Do

Moderators will review each situation on a case-by-case basis, tailoring our response to meet the needs of the situation. We will investigate and respond as appropriate, using this Code of Conduct to guide our decision.

Actions we may take include, but are not limited to:

1. Formal warning
2. Closing of threads
3. Pre-moderation (requiring a member’s messages to be approved by a moderator before they’re posted)
4. Content removal
5. Suspension or removal from the Discussion List
6. Revoking EFA membership in accordance with the EFA bylaws.

We follow a three-strike rule regarding members who violate the CoC:

• Strike one: Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt the first time they break a rule. The first time, we send a friendly warning off-list explaining how their post was in violation.
• Strike two: The second time a member violates the CoC, they’re either sent a second off-list warning or they’re placed on pre-moderation for 30 days, depending on the severity of the violation.
• Strike three: If the member already completed a 30-day pre-moderation period and they violate the CoC a third time, they will be removed from the Discussion List. If they have not yet been on pre-moderation, they are automatically placed on pre-moderation for 30 days.

If a member returns from strike-three pre-moderation and breaks a rule again, they will be removed from the Discussion List.

Legal Notices

The Discussion List and its archives are open to members only but bear in mind that messages can be forwarded to anyone. No internet message is truly private, so be circumspect, especially when discussing clients.

The EFA retains full discretion to remove any content or impose sanctions for activity that the moderator(s), acting in good faith, deem unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene, or otherwise objectionable or that violates any party’s intellectual property. This Code of Conduct describes when we will exercise that discretion.

To use this service, you agree to abide by our Anti-Harassment Policy.

Code of Conduct Review

The Board of Governors reviews this document regularly. This Code of Conduct was last updated by the Discussion List Committee on July 26, 2021. Members may submit feedback on the Code of Conduct here.

Technical Help

Subscribing to the Discussion List

In My Account > Profile Editor, check "Yes" next to "Subscribe to the EFA Discussion List" to indicate that you’d like to join.

Look for an email from Groups.io within three business days. The invitation email will allow you to join either by replying via email or by clicking a link within the body of the email. If you accept the invitation by replying via email, your preferences will be automatically set to receive each individual message, while accepting via the link allows you to set your email preferences differently. If your invitation does not arrive, check your spam or junk folder and consider whitelisting the EFA's Groups.io email address: EFADiscussionList@EFAGroups.groups.io. If you still don’t find your invitation, email juliana.mcardle@the-efa.org.

You can remain a member of the Discussion List as long as you are an active member of the EFA and using the primary or alternate email address in your EFA Profile Editor. Lapsed members will be removed from the Discussion List.

Logging in to Groups.io

You may need to log in to the Discussion List on Groups.io, for example to change your email delivery settings, read messages, access the technical FAQ, or search the messages archive. If you have previously created an account with Groups.io, use its login information at:  https://efagroups.groups.io/g/EFADiscussionList. This login information is not the same as your EFA username and password.

You can also log in without setting a password for Groups.io. Go to:  https://efagroups.groups.io/g/EFADiscussionList and click on “Email me a link to log in.” Enter the email address associated with your Discussion List subscription. You can use this link to log in for 24 hours. Once you click the link and log in, click on “Your Groups” in the upper left, then click on “Editorial Freelancers Association Discussion List.”

Still have questions?

Please visit our FAQ page on Groups.io.