Email retention and documentation retention are different with some similarities. The document retention policy is the be all, end all of SOX compliance policies (I am sure, not certain) In this particular case, I assume that their email retention policy is to protect mail server storage capacity, with the individual's obligation to save important emails as a word doc to comply with the uber records/document retention policy.
zedsville points out an article at Wired proving that plenty of people (at least in Japan) are willing to brave BBS environments without all the fancy layers to screen out spam or online provocateurs: "It's a profile of Hiroyuki Nishimura, the man behind the Japanese site 2channel. Nishimura set up the simplistic BBS in 1999, when he was an exchange student in the USA. The site has no registration or web handles or moderating, no mechanisms to filter out flames and trollish behavior, and no mechanisms to help users find the most insightful comments and topics. But this ugly, lo-res site gets about 500 million pageviews a month. Nishimura doesn't police the contents of posts to his bulletin board, which has resulted in numerous libel claims. 'I used to show up in court,' he says. 'Then one day I overslept, and nothing happened. So I stopped going.' Nishimura has lost about 50 lawsuits and owes millions of dollars in penalties, which he has no intention of paying. 'If the verdict mandates deleting things, I'll do it,' he says. 'I just haven't complied with demands to pay money. Would a cell phone carrier feel responsible when somebody receives a threatening phone call?'"