File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-04-30.191, message 142

Date: Fri, 26 Apr 1996 10:53:19 -0400
Subject: Re: VOTE DEADLINE on "soc.politics.marxism" -Reply

On Apr 26, 1996 08:38:08, 'Lisa Rogers <>' wrote: 
>Say, Tallpaul, could you explain why a so-called vote is required in 
>order to set up a newsgroup?  This seems a strange parody of 
>"democracy".  Who's making these rules? 
The USENET news groups number some 10,000+ worldwide. 
They are categorized into a hierarchy, somewhat like the Dewey Decimal
System in the library. One difference is that Dewey uses numbers while
USENET uses words. 
A second difference is that while Dewey is accepted (along with the Library
of Congress system) universally in the English-speaking world, USENET is
not *necessarily* accepted. 
The "alt" hierarchy is the most anarchistic. *Anyone* can set up an "alt"
group. Because of this many "alt" groups are spurious. You have groups like
"". Given this, while anyone can
set up an "alt" group not all internet systems feel the need to carry the
The other hierarchies are a bit different. They are grouped under headings
like "soc," "comp," "rec," "talk," etc. 
To get into the non-alt hierarchy there is a specific procedure people go
First they draw up a formal document called a REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION
outlining what the proposed group is, why it is proposed, why the need, how
it will be run, etc. The RFD document is posted to
"news.announce.newgroups" and elsewhere on the net where the proponents of
the group wish. 
After some suitable period of time, a formal CALL FOR VOTES is issued. The
CFV for s.p.m. was attached to my original messsage so I need not describe
it here. 
All citizens of the net can cast one vote (but anonymous accounts are not
permitted to cast ballots because of the high level of vote fraud this
would produce.) 
To pass, a group needs 2/3 of the votes cast and the YES votes must exceed
the NO votes by 100+ votes. In other words, a vote of 80-to-20 would pass
on the 2/3 criteria but would fail on the 100+ criteria. This is done to
insure that there is sufficient internest on the net to set up the group. 
Once a group vote passes, the poo-pahs in the "news.groups" hierarchy
inform, in essence, all the English-language net systems in the world.
Virtually all the net systems then carry the group because the whole
process has demonstrated the group and the proponents are serious. 
Thus there is no need for a vote on "alt" but coverag emay be limited; a
need for a vote in the other hierarchies, but coverage of the group is far
Hope this helps. 

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