A newsgroup is a discussion about a particular subject consisting of notes written to a central Internet site and redistributed through Usenet, a worldwide network of news discussion groups. Usenet uses the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP).
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Newsgroups are organized into subject hierarchies, with the first few letters of the newsgroup name indicating the major subject category and sub-categories represented by a subtopic name. Many subjects have multiple levels of subtopics. Some major subject categories are: news, rec (recreation), soc (society), sci (science), comp (computers), and so forth (there are many more). Users can post to existing newsgroups, respond to previous posts, and create new newsgroups.
Newcomers to newsgroups are requested to learn basic Usenet netiquette and to get familiar with a newsgroup before posting to it. A frequently-asked questions is provided. The rules can be found when you start to enter the Usenet through your browser or an online service. You can subscribe to the postings on a particular newsgroup.
Some newsgroups are moderated by a designated person who decides which postings to allow or to remove. Most newsgroups are unmoderated.