Usent II

What is Usenet II?

Usenet II is an attempt to create a structure where the traditional Usenet model of cooperation and trust can be made to work in the Internet of the 21st century.

We think that with a pretty minimal set of restrictions on abusive behavior we can establish an environment where something like Usenet can prosper, the way it used to be.

And what does "the way it used to be" mean? Well, it doesn't mean a perfect place where nobody ever disagrees, nobody ever says anything mean or nasty, or even necessarily where that behavior is the exception. There have always been groups where flaming is the norm. We're not going to try to make Usenet II into some sort of "nice" place, and we don't think we should try. But it used to be that Usenet was a place where people communicated with people. Where people, whether they were being nice or not, were there because they wanted to say something.

These days, well, there's a lot of people who for money or simply entertainment seem to think that it's something else. Free advertising space, a convenient anonymous file drop, or even a distributed web site and FTP server for their customers. Russ Allbery wrote a fine rant on that subject, which is reproduced here.

And then there are people who get their kicks by breaking things. They've always been around, too, but in the past they've been constrained by the difficulty of getting, and keeping, access to Usenet. Usenet II access is not a right, the way Usenet access has become. This isn't to say that we'll prevent anyone from posting to Usenet II just because of who they are, but if they can't cooperate they'll have a much harder time finding an open site to launch their attacks from.

Questions and answers.

How do you plan to do this?

With the Usenet II Rules, rules.txt, and various automatic tools and monitors that enforce them, which brings us to the most commonly asked question:


Why did my message get cancelled?

Either it violated one of the rules in a way that the automatic monitor caught, or it was posted without the appropriate magic dust being added by your ISP to tag it as a Usenet II message. If that's the case, then your ISP is probably not part of Usenet II. Have a look further down this list to see how to change that.


Who's behind this?

The Usenet II hierarchy managers (Czars), czars.txt will be doing most of the hard work, delegated to them by the gophers in the Usenet II Steering Committee, committee.txt.


What's this stuff about Czars and Fiefs and other scary medieval stuff?

If we called them "electronic janitors" we wouldn't get nearly as many volunteers for the job, now would we?

The most important part of a czar's job is simply to manage the namespace they're responsible for. Coming up with names of groups has been, oddly enough, the biggest problem in Usenet I after spam. Rather than leave it to the populace or have some kind of central naming committee we have people who understand and care about the subject matter handling it.

Is that really how you spell it?

What? Czar? We had a whole bunch of discussion about that in the various mailing lists that started all this stuff. We think so. If we're wrong, well, it's only a name.


What's Usenet II consist of?

The current groups are listed in groups.txt, or the linkie-linkie version at groups.html.
You can feed checkgroups.txt straight to, well, you know what...


How do I, as a user, get involved?

You can:


ask your administrator to join, or


obtain an account with an ISP that already belongs, or


obtain an account at a news service, such as newsguy, which belongs.

How do I, as an administrator, get involved?

If you've set up your site and have an outgoing feed post to net.config.feed-requests (We had a mail-news gateway for net.config.feed-requests, but we've closed it down because people were spamming Usenet II through it). You can get details on how to set up your news server in details.txt.. The INN patch mentioned is in inn.remembertrash.patch.txt.


What are we doing about junk email?

Some suggestions for staying Usenet II compliant without losing your mailbox to that wretched hive of scum and villainy we all know and love.


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