Cyberbullying has been in the news a lot. The Internet presents new ways for people who are inclined toward being cruel to others to torment their victims. Cyberbullying has been implicated in everything from mental trauma to assaults to suicides. If you're on the USENET, you have some very good resources that you can use to make sure that you or the people you care about don't end up falling prey to cyberbullies.


The best USENET newsgroups are moderated. Moderators are there to make sure that their groups have good reputations, that people enjoy using them and that the information posted is correct, if applicable. These moderators are your first line of defense against bullies.

Filing a complaint with a moderator should be the first thing you do if you feel like you're being bullied by someone on a newsgroup. The moderators will handle the situation according to their own policies and those of the group, but they'll generally take any reports seriously. Moderators don't want their group's reputation sullied by people who make using the USENET service miserable for everyone.


There's no requirement that you have to use your real name on USENET, ever. It's usually a good idea to skip doing so, in fact. First, make sure that you have an email address that you can use for contact from any of the newsgroups. This email address shouldn’t use your real name and be sure that you don't give your real name out on the group. You may end up making friends with people. In fact, you probably will. When you get to know them better, you can decide whether or not you want to share personal information with them, but this is best done after you've determined who they are a bit.

The USENET system isn't one where an organization has centralized control over your identity. It's also not a system that uses profile pictures or other convenient means of identifying people in real life. This is a huge advantage for those who want to protect their identity. Unlike social networking sites, there isn't a company behind USENET that has a profit motive in sharing your information with third-party entities and, thus, there's more protection of your anonymity.


If you have a child and they've started using the Internet, be sure to supervise them when they're on USENET, just as you would with any other system. USENET isn't likely to be as interesting to young children because of the lack of visual elements that make the Internet so fascinating. It's great for older kids, however, particularly if they need to do research for school or for other reasons.

Remember that, ultimately, your online experience always comes down to how you use the resource. If you're responsible with it and if you make sure that you don't get involved in flame wars and other distractions, you should usually be able to count on having a great time and on enjoying the people that you meet on the Internet.

Author's Bio: 

Expert Marion Marshall maintains several websites about Usenet and NNTP technologies. By visiting his website you can learn about and free usenet