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Q: Why did I get an error when sending mail to a Google Group from my mit.edu address?

Detailed error

I tried to send mail to a Google Group I am a member of, and receive the following error message back from Google:

Hello _username_@mit.edu,

We're writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact (name
removed) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post messages
to the group. A few more details on why you weren't able to post:

* You might have spelled or formatted the group name incorrectly.
* The owner of the group may have removed this group.
* You may need to join the group before receiving permission to post.
* This group may not be open to posting.

If you have questions related to this or any other Google Group, visit
the Help Center at http://groups.google.com/support/?hl=en_US.

Thanks,

Google Groups

Context

Answer

There are several possible reasons for an error like the above from Google Groups. Google does not reveal specifics in the error message because their privacy policy prohibits them from confirming whether a private group exists (that is, whether you sent mail to a valid group address or not) or whether you simply sent mail to an incorrect group address.

If you are certain that you sent mail to a valid group, then there could be two reasons for the above error:

Members only

The group allows only members to send mail to it, and you are not a member. You need to join the group before you can post to it. You can browse for the group at http://www.google.com/groups and submit a request to join the group (if it is restricted) from the group's web page.

Member name changed

If you are a member of the group and you just started getting an error like the above on posting around Sep. 4th, it is possible that your member email address was changed to username-google@mit.edu when Google merged MIT Google Apps accounts into their general Google account infrastructure. This would only have happened if you registered yourself for an MIT Google Apps account on the old "Teams Edition" Google was running.

Please see:

for more details of this issue, work-arounds, and the recommended long-term fix.

See also

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members


Last Modified:

September 12, 2012

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