Filtering Advice On Usenet

Filtering Advice On Usenet
According to studies, the communities on Usenet newsgroups do a good job of filtering out bad information. Even though this is the case, you will need to do some filtering of your own to decide if the information is good or bad. One of the easiest examples to use to illustrate this point is the topic of health. Appropriately enough, this was also the subject discussed in the report released by the Economic and Social Research Council that had a lot of good things to say about Usenet.

Question 1: What are You Selling?

Whenever someone gives you health advice online, be sure to keep an eye out for sly marketing. The number one sign of this is when every symptom you describe is something the poster has a product for. Usenet is very good at filtering out spam posts, but you have to keep an eye out.

Question 2: What are Your Qualifications?

Usenet is full of people who are very qualified to speak on certain subjects. It is also full of people who are not and who speak on those subjects, anyway. Fortunately, this usually does not last long. If you see a reply to a post that basically eviscerates the previous one, look for other replies by the same newsgroup member. You can get an idea of whether they are standing up for accurate information or if they just like standing up a lot in general.

Question 3: What Newsgroup are You On?

There is an incredible variety of information on Usenet newsgroups. The system is very good at keeping articles in the appropriate newsgroups. If you get suspicious advice in a newsgroup, be sure you are posting in the right one. There are usually people who run newsgroups who will be more than happy to tell you if your post is on-topic and who will let you know good groups to check out if it is not.

Question 4: Sources

Usenet users do not tolerate empty talk very well. Most posters will give you other places to look for more information and sources to back up what they are saying. If the sources keep leading you to places that do not seem related, you can take it as a reason to not listen too closely to the advice given.

Usenet is one of the oldest forms of interacting online. Because of that, it also has some of the most established procedures for moderating communities. If someone is really steering you wrong, contact a newsgroup moderator or post about it on the newsgroup itself. If it turns into an argument, do not let it drive you away. The newsgroup admins will usually take care of the problem for you and, provided you are polite, you will not be the one who will be kicked.

Marion Marshall is a proud contributing author who writes articles on several subjects including Usenet and Technology. You can read more of Marion’s articles and learn about free usenet servers and free usenet server located at

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