What Is the Usenet?

The Usenet is a discussion network, organized into groups (commonly referred to as newsgroups) such as alt.money and alt.pictures.binaries.erotica.bigmamas, that spans thousands of servers across the world. People post articles, messages, and binary files to this network through the local servers of their Internet Service Providers (ISP). Once uploaded to a local server, posted files are then distributed throughout the rest of the Usenet network.

Some Usenet servers reside in universities, some belong to individuals, and a vast number belong to commercial entities. Because there is no central location for this network of servers, all servers feed into and off of the Usenet network in a highly dynamic manner.

Some Usenet groups are moderated, meaning that articles are cleared before posting, but many groups–including most binary groups–are not moderated. In fact, although moderated groups exist, no person, group, government, business, organization, etc., has control or authority over the entire Usenet. There are certain conventions to which most Usenet users would like everyone to adhere (e.g., no spamming, flaming, or posting of inappropriate or illegal material), but anarchy tends to rule.

If you are interested in learning more about the Usenet, the link below offers an excellent resource:


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