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I moderate a Google Groups which gets a lot of spam.

Messages from newcomers must be moderated before they get posted.

Usually I select and allow the valid messages, then select all of the others and ban them altogether.

Problem: Sometimes I get this message:

Error while banning members. One or more members were not banned.

Refreshing does not resolve the problem. Actually some moderators have learned to live with a broken moderation queue for months.

How to empty my moderation queue when that happens?

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Two important facts to take into account:

  • These failures are often limited to a single message.
  • Not being able to ban a sender does not mean that you can not delete the message.

So, proceed like this:

  1. Ban in batches, for instance 5 by 5, and ignore the batches that fail
  2. When you only have a few left, ban one by one. Now you only have the ones whose ban really fails
  3. Select them all and press "Delete". These users will not be banned but at least they will not prevent you from banning the others in the future. Also, even if these few users are not banned, they are not allowed either so if they post again they will have to go through moderation, hopefully with a successful ban this time.

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