Nine Usenet Newsgroups to Avoid

This list was written by John Higgins in an apparent bout of severe grumpiness. Thanks, John, now please to back to alt.ketchup, or whatever it is that you read.
  1. alt.flame. Remember those annoying high school bullies who picked fights just to prove they were mean? Well, this is their little corner of cyberspace, one created to give participants an opportunity to launch caustic attacks on each other. It's the Internet equivalent of a "dog run" in New York City parks; hopefully you contain the mess.
  2. comp.sys.macintosh.advocay. Fervent fans of the Apple MacIntosh computers take their computers far too seriously here, treating a box of chips as a sacred object. is only marginally better.
  3. rec.pyrotechnics. A truly dangerous newsgroup. Fans of fireworks swap recipes for homemade explosives, some of them extraordinarily unstable.
  4. alt.barney.die.die.die. One of many "bogus" newsgroups. Software to distribute Usenet news has a few bugs in it allowing clever rogues to create a newsgroup on a whim outside normal administrative channels. Done properly, the group it can propagate to other computers all over the world. These bogus groups never really have any message traffic in them. Some are just juvenile ( or stupid (alt.buddha.short.fat.guy). But occasionally some clever wit emerges (alt.fax.bondage,
  5. alt.folklore.urban. Discussions of urban legends (microwaved poodles, terminally ill children collecting business cards, etc.) get taken way too seriously here. Any mistaken or naive query is likely to be greeted with hostile attacks. That goes double for any post with a smiley :) in it.
  6. alt.conspiracy. Frightening paranoids obsess over world consipriacies, the Holocaust "myth", the Illuminati and the CIA. Kennedy assassination fanatics were dominant enough to split off their own group, alt.conspiracy.jfk.
  7. alt.censorship. A thoughful discussion of governement attempts to squelch speech might be expected from a group with this title. Unfortunately, it's generally filled with some lout ranting about how a mailing list or newsgroup moderator told him to shut up.
  8. Self-proclaimed geniuses trying to prove how much smarter they are than anyone else.
  9. Enough said.

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Copyright © 1994, 1995, 2004 by Kevin Savetz. The information in this book was collected in 1994-1995 and has not been updated since.