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Usenet (“users’ network”) was a worldwide system for managing text-based discussions over the Internet that originated in the early 1980s and ceased functioning in the late 2000s. In it, users posted and read one another’s messages in categories pertaining to various topics known as newsgroups, which were in turn divided into hierarchies of subjects indicated by the relevant preface (e.g., rec.sport.basketball.college). Information was distributed through a network of servers called news servers, although the content is much greater than simply news. Users connected through applications called newsreaders, which connected to news servers, downloaded articles, and helped users adhere to the established parameters of netiquette. Usenet delivered asynchronous messages much like email, except that they were visible to all subscribers of a newsgroup. It did ...

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