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Usenet Newsgroup FAQ

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Usenet Frequently Asked Questions

Some Usenet newsgroups have what is known as a charter or F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions). This file contains a list of rules for that newsgroup stating what types of posts are acceptable in the group. A group’s charter or FAQ is the written policy of either the group’s creator or of an elected supervisor called a moderator. Normally, only groups in “the big 8” hierarchies have an FAQ. Alt groups usually do not have such posting rules.

Consequences for violating a newsgroups charter or FAQ range from being flamed by others in the group to being reported to your ISP’s abuse department. You may be asking, why would a newsgroup want to control what gets posted, isn’t that censorship? FAQs are necessary as a way to maintain a newsgroups identity and integrity. If there were no posting rules, the subject and spirit of a popular newsgroup could be lost.

Newsgroup Posting Rules

Its content may become so far removed from its intended topic that group regulars may stop posting to it, therefore destroying that group’s usefulness to existing subscribers and also discouraging new users from joining. Therefore, you can see why it is important that newsgroups have posting rules. Groups without specific posting rules (such as the Alt groups) operate on a self-governing basis.

These groups depend on voluntary work of others to report any unwelcome behavior of it’s subscribers to the offenders ISP. Use the link below to see a list of newsgroups that have an established charter of FAQ. Many newsgroups that have an FAQ also post them to the group periodically as a reminder to its subscribers and to act as a notice to new users.

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