101 Ways to be Obnoxious on Usenet

Published on Thu 14 October 1999

Note to the profoundly impaired: this list is intended as humor, and consists mostly of things that you should NOT do. NOT NOT NOT do. Once more, slowly, don't do these things. If you do, you're a bad, naughty person. Bad person! Naughty! Naughty, *bad* person! Ok, now that *that's* out of the way, without further ado...

Post a message asking how to post messages.

Lead a tireless crusade for the creation of newsgroups with silly names like alt.my.butt.is.hairy.

Put 4 addresses, 5 lines of "Geek Code", 6 ASCII-art bicycles, a PGP key, and your home phone in your signature.

Reinvigorate a discussion by switching attributions in followups.

Post recipes on rec.pets.cats.

Post a compendium of old articles from a thread that died months ago with a title such as "*** HAS JOE SMITH FORGOTTEN HIS LIES? ***"

Post a 56-part binary MPG file of your dog throwing up to news.answers. Announce that you screwed it up and repeat.

On the MST3K groups, ask what happened to Joel.

Ask readers of rec.music.misc to post their favorite Zeppelin tune "for a poll".

Reacquaint the readers of rec.humor with the "two-strings-go-in-a-bar" joke.

Determine a perversion so bizarre or obscure that it doesn't yet have its own sex group.

Post your new "War Heroes of India" FAQ to soc.culture.pakistan.

Start this week's new AOL virus rumor.

Format your posts for 90 columns (or 20).

Provide a valuable public service by notifying the eager readers of roughly 1,200 newsgroups of your new "HOOTERAMA" phone sex service or "PorqWhiffe" pheramone cologne.

Post elaborate conspiracy theories to talk.politics.misc detailing how ATF agents under the control of Chelsea Clinton and Socks have implanted invisible microchips in your genitals.

Fill that empty mailbox, make new friends, delight your postmaster, and selflessly lead others to riches with a few "MAKE MONEY FAST" posts.

Attempt to sell your sweaty underwear in alt.clothing.lingerie.

Follow up a 200-line post to add only your signature.

Crosspost Amiga articles to the Mac and PC newsgroups for a valuable interchange of provocative ideas.

Announce a mailing list for Bill Gates' VISA card number.

Inform the readers of alt.sex that your friend at a particular address is taking a penis length survey, and the first 1000 people to send him their measurements will receive free naked pictures of Cindy Crawford.

Correct every spelling mistake you encounter, but misspell the word "imbecile" in your followup flames.

Flame yourself, and complain to your own postmaster.

Ask readers of the Star Trek groups when they last had dates.

Post personal ads on groups such as alt.sex.diapers listing your work phone number.

Post under the name Dave Rhodes.

Followup every post in a newsgroup ranking them on a scale from 1 to 10.

Establish your own little Usenet niche by writing a Wink Martindale FAQ.

Advise other readers to ftp to for "really cool nudie pics".

Post daily word searches to rec.puzzles.

Post your trig homework to sci.math and ask the readers to e-mail you the answers, since you "don't read the group".

Provoke insightful and productive debates on fresh new topics such as abortion, gun control, the existence of God, penile circumcision, and the relative superiority of Mac or PC operating systems.

Pick a cutesy handle that inspires vicarious embarrassment in other readers, such as "SoHot4U", "SokSnifer", or "WetNWild".

Maintain a high-level of constructive decorum by addressing someone with whom you disagree as "monkey boy".

Inform the readers of the sex groups that they're "going straight to hell", and then proceed to followup a variety of titillating posts.

Post to alt.folklore.urban that this guy that a friend of your uncle's ex-girlfriend's boss knew received the donated heart of River Phoenix.

Relentlessly inform the readers of groups such as rec.pets.iguanas or sci.agriculture of your UFO, JFK, OJ, NRA, NSA, Nutrasweet, and Azeri genocide theories. Relate them all to sunspot activity and ancient astronauts.

Post instructions telling other readers how to put you in their killfile.

Post whining, misspelled, and vaguely creepy personal ads in wildly inappropriate newsgroups, and followup to berate the readers for not responding.

Announce that a particular site has opened up a new combination OJ Jury Info/Homemade Bombs/Kiddie Porn/Scientology Documents/Computer Subliminal Hypnosis ftp archive.

Construct a device that lets your pets post to Usenet by pawing or pecking a feeder bar.

Post the Niemann Marcus cookie recipe to rec.food.recipes.

Eliminate nearly all meaningful traffic on a newsgroup for weeks by challenging its readership to come up with as many synonyms as possible for the word vomit.

Accuse other posters of being AI experiments, Perl scripts, or Emacs macros.

Claim that you can see "hidden images" in another person's posting when you cross your eyes.

Ask Austrian readers about kangaroos.

Ask Australian readers about alpine skiing.

Include Rush lyrics or Rush quotes in all your posts.

Accuse female posters of being male.

Make an anonymous posting accusing others of cowardice.

Accuse a fellow AOL or Prodigy subscriber of being a "newbie" because their 3 months on the net are dwarfed by your own span of 4.

Insist that anyone objecting to your compulsive fascination with consuming the flesh of strangled disabled minors is "judgemental".

If you've grown tired of typing, effectively end a thread by accusing others of being Nazis.

Ask readers of soc.culture.nordic whether the Swedish Chef has a Sampo.

Write and regularly post a FAQ about yourself.

Post graphic descriptions of your bowel movements, genital sores, and various suppurating wounds to alt.tasteless.

Ask readers of sci.med for urgent, step-by-step instructions on removing arrows, or inquire why all your extremities have turned dark purple.

Insist that there's no such state in the U.S. as "New Mexico".

Post only in Esperanto.

Claim a copyright on the word "Usenet", and followup with a bill all posts you encounter that contain it.

Sell "posting permits" in news.announce.newusers.

Post single-part text messages in MIME format.

Ask the readers of rec.sewing whether any of them want to be the drummer for your new band, "Death Monkeys".

Claim to be an amorous highschool cheerleader while posting under a name such as "Robert Bradley Smith, Jr."

In the spirit of purest optimism, ask other readers to followup with their account passwords and credit card numbers.

Why use a single question mark or exclamation point when you can use at least thirty?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

List a cute organization name in your header, such as "Canadians for Global Warming".

Insult a poster from another nation based on his country's performance in World War II.

Post vitriolic, frothing, hair-trigger flames in polite newsgroups, as if you were a testosterone-crazed adolescent debating which shotgun is superior in alt.games.doom.

Followup spam posts in the belief that the originator, who probably follows the group closely and is desperately curious about receiving feedback, will see your impassioned plea and be so moved by your lengthy, point-by-point indictment of their conduct that they pledge to desist from such activity for all time.

Regardless of its accuracy, followup another post with the line "BZZZT! Wrong answer!" or "Hello! McFly!"

Use a 120-line ASCII graphic of Spock as your signature.

Post to soc.culture.women asking "what's your favorite brand of oven mitt, little ladies?"

Post to news.annnounce.newusers asking if there are any nurses in Portland willing to spank you. Followup with an apology. Followup again with the original article.

Post with a newsreader that replaces punctuation marks with strange, non-ASCII characters.

Steer all debates to your own pet subjects of expertise, regardless of their relevance.

Make it clear from your postings that you've a profound inability to distinguish "The X Files" as fiction.

Insist that another poster is really Serdar Argic or Kibo.

Post 20-part encoded image files from NASA ftp archives that you claim show clear evidence of alien settlements.

Insinuate vague conspiracies in all your posts.

Spam post alarming ten-year-old files about Congressional bills to tax modem usage "in the name of freedom".

Claim that unidentified government agencies are censoring your posts.

Ask readers to collect aluminum pop-tops on behalf of Craig Shergold.

Ask readers of comp.sci.algorithms how to get Super Mario to the castle.


omit all punctuation



Ask the readers of alt.current-events.net-abuse where to purchase Cantor and Siegel's book.

Post the phone number of the Michigan Militia to alt.conspiracy as the "Classified ATF Secret Hotline".

Compose an exhaustively researched 15-part FAQ detailing the favorite movie musicals of relatives of the Deep Space Nine cast. Post it weekly in its entirety.

Strive to ensure that no two consecutive words in your posts are correctly spelled.

Enrich the lives of thousands with a thoughtful and impassioned debate on the topic "AOL users suck".

Dispense essential and priceless financial advice, such as the assertion that no one is legally required to pay taxes.

Demand that others cease using the letter e, as you find it "dply offnsiv".

Post to rec.music.misc insisting that "Curt Kobain should leave Pearl Jam since they'll never tour again."

Assume that the entire Usenet hierarchy shares your interest in helping lonely Ukrainian lasses find love.

Followup another person's posts every twelve minutes to accuse them of "obsessing".

Followup two dozen of another person's posts to accuse them of harassing you. Send copious e-mail if you're ignored.

Start pointless debates over topics such as whether Whoopi Goldberg has eyebrows, what happens when you cross the International Dateline, and whether the bad guy in Popeye cartoons was named "Bluto" or "Brutus".

This joke was tagged #english