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Newsgroup Etiquette

Who controls Usenet?

Newsgroups are autonomous forums and as such, there are no "all-powerful owners" to control what gets posted. Instead, users of Usenet newsgroups are responsible for their actions. But don't confuse this as a free-for-all; continuing postings of SPAM, threats, off-topic posts (and anything else considered illegal) will get you booted by your ISP and/or newsgroup provider.

A few guidelines that will keep you from making mistakes

Read the newsgroup without posting for a few weeks (also known as "lurking"). it will give you an idea of what the newsgroup is all about.

Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Find and read the newsgroup's FAQ, which can sometimes be found posted within the newsgroup, or you can try searching for it.. This may be the quickest way to learn about a particular newsgroup.

Keep posts on-topic. If you're not sure what's allowed to be posted within a newsgroup, see the FAQ and try lurking (see above). Don't reply to SPAM either; it's still considered off-topic and does nothing to prevent the spammer from posting again (do you think he/she would really read a reply?).

As with any form of communication on the internet, don't use ALL CAPS in posts AS IT'S CONSIDERED SHOUTING (unless you mean it).

Don't send posts advertising your business or website. It may be considered SPAM, ticks people-off, and is a good way to get kicked off Usenet.

Don't respond to "trolls." You'll know them when you see them -- they're the folks who are posting really obnoxious messages meant to agitate and annoy. If they continue harassing you, contact their newsgroup provider through the "abuse" email address (usually found in the "headers" of their posts).


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