Some news administrators, unhappy with the way the Big-8 system developed, decided to start a project they called Usenet2. All Usenet2 groups are within a single hierarchy called net.*
The idea behind Usenet2 is to avoid inaccurately named groups, to avoid any form of net-abuse and to control the chaos in Usenet. Contrary to the Big-8, there’s not a single moderator there. There’s a consortium, which is responsible for all decisions regarding Usenet2. To avoid net-abuse, services which are not considered “sound” (that’s what they name scoundrel services), will be depeered.
To “deeper” a Usenet server means to stop exchanging articles with that server. If all ISPs do that at once, the articles posted to this Usenet server will go nowhere, in other words, the Usenet server is kicked out of Usenet. So whenever an administrator doesn’t play according to the rules of this consortium, he will get kicked out by them. This doesn’t always work in practice though, as there are too many “backdoors” for administrators to still get their articles into Usenet, but nevertheless, getting depeered is something every administrator should be afraid of.
The biggest problem of Usenet2 is censorship! If what you write is considered abusive, your administrator is told to stop you. If he refuses to do that, his server isn’t “sound” anymore and he will get punished. He has no chance and is forced to listen to this consortium and that means your freedom of speech has gone out the window.
While many people may appreciate Usenet2, I think its chances for success are smaller than those of the free groups. As history shows, a big-brother principle has never worked. Too much freedom is dangerous, too much control is even worse. I guess only time will tell on how long Usenet2 will be around as a hierarchy.