USENET is one of the least tolerant services of spam. There are USENET groups, of course, that are almost entirely spam, but you won't find this problem in any of the moderated groups. This is why experienced USENET group users generally stick to moderated groups within the eight largest hierarchies. If you're in a position where you have some information that you're not sure if you should share are not, consider the following before you post it.

Is it Commercial?

The easiest way to test whether or not something is spam is to ask yourself whether or not it has a commercial purpose to it. Spam is always after money, e-mail addresses or something else from the people who read it. If whatever you are posting has no real interest other than providing information, that's a good sign. This alone, however, doesn't mean that whatever you are thinking of posting isn't spam. It requires more consideration to determine that honestly.

Is it True?

False information is almost universally considered a type of spam. For example, just about every year a new story circulates about how Mars will be so large in the sky that it will be almost as easy to see its surface features as it is to see the surface features on the moon. Of course, this is complete poppycock. In fact, Mars is even difficult to see through a powerful amateur telescope. Posting information that is simply untrue like this will generally be regarded as spam. Crosspost this information and you can get yourself in real trouble.

Is it a Scam?

Even if the information you're posting happens to be true and even if that information doesn't have an obvious commercial purpose, it still might be a scam. There are plenty of clever scams out there that are designed to get to people emotionally, intellectually or in some other way. Before you post something that you're unsure about, do an Internet search for whatever you're posting to see if it's already been identified as a scam.

Resources that Avoid Embarrassment

There are cases where you may want to get involved in a debate on a newsgroup and interject information that you "heard somewhere", information that "somebody told you", or information that is "common sense". Getting into a debate on a newsgroup based on such information is one of the most effective and fastest ways to plant your foot firmly in your mouth.

There are Internet sites that you can check to make certain that the information that you are sharing is actually true. Do an Internet search for urban legends, common misconceptions, and skeptic pages to make certain that you're not posting something that's completely untrue. You may not be spamming when you interject with an argument like this, but you'll certainly be setting yourself up to be very embarrassed by the fallout. Remember that many USENET users are very knowledgeable about the fields that they discuss. Something may seem like a great piece of information that they're not considering to you, but it may be absolutely ridiculous to them, and they may have heard it far more than they want to already.

Author's Bio: 

Expert Marion Marshall maintains several websites about Usenet and NNTP technologies. By visiting his website you can learn about astraweb deal and easynews