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Some types of posts unwelcome on ASB

27 Dec 1996

This post should not be perceived as being in any way critical of the similar efforts others are making. I simply felt that it would be more effective if there were several such posts being made, both because it makes it more likely that a newcomer will see one before doing anything silly, and because multiple people advising of a situation makes it more likely that what is being said is the prevailing view of the group and not one person's view. Like everything else posted to ASB, what follows is subject to criticism, and open to reconsideration, at least on my part, if someone can offer sound arguments in favor of such posts on ASB.

As will be mentioned, there's nothing that stops one from making any of the types of posts that are described here. It can hardly escape notice that several of these types of posts are extremely common on ASB. However, these are posts of a sort about which there has long been substantial agreement among the regular posters on ASB, and that agreement is that these types of posts do not belong here. So while nothing stops one from making them, anyone doing so can anticipate receiving considerable adverse commentary as a result.

  1. Please do not post personals to
  2. Personals are better posted to alt.personals.bondage than to ASB (there are also many other groups in the alt.personals.* hierarchy for people with more specific interests).

    ASB is for discussions, APB (a fitting acronym) is for personal ads. Those people who want to read personals will be reading the alt.personals groups, so when one posts a personal to ASB one is forcing such ads on people who have chosen *not* to read them.

    If one chooses to respond to a personal (it would, IMO, be better not to encourage misplaced posts; also, I question prudence of seeking an involvement with someone who either does not respect limits, or makes no effort to determine what is and is not acceptable, but that's one's own decision), please use e-mail. It's more private and more reliable, and the answer to a personal is no more appropriate for ASB than is the personal.

    BTW, anyone can post to alt.personals.bondage, even if one's site doesn't receive that group, by sending mail through a remailer. Unfortunately, the best known of them have shut down recently. There are others still operating. If you should post using a remailer, specify that respondents should use email (actually, that's a good thing to specify in all cases, even when one can read the group).

    The FAQ for alt.personals is at

  3. Please do not post advertisements to
  4. ASB is a non-commercial discussion group, and advertisements, which are in this article defined as posts the primary purpose of which is to seek business, are not welcome here.

    Such articles - when at all on-topic - are more welcome on such groups as:,,,, or

    Announcements of activities or products likely to be of interest to ASB's readers are quite welcome. The difference is quite subtle in theory; fortunately, however, the posters of advertisements usually manage to leave no doubt whether the post was made as a service to interested readers, or was utterly self-serving. Still, there will be times when one may be required to exercise some judgement so as to determine if a post with commercial content is primarily commercial, or whether a post is an ad or an announcement. Those who post should be aware that looking like an ad can be trouble; those who monitor posts should not worry about letting some ambiguous ones slip by, for if it was inappropriate someone else will remark upon it, and if no one else remarks upon it, it probably wasn't inappropriate.

  5. Please do not post binaries to
  6. Please don't post binaries to ASB. Because of their size, binaries present problems in storage and transmission that irritate many users, and lead many sites to not carry binaries newsgroups. Were ASB to regularly contain binaries the resource mamagement question would be a perfect excuse for some admins to drop ASB (and for some it might also be a valid reason).

    It's also the case that ASB is carried by sites in many different jurisdictions, some of which may be more inclined to prosecute erotic images than erotic text. The local sysadmins have decided what risks they will bear by deciding whether or not to carry binaries groups, and it's not our place to make them bear risks they have chosen not to bear, so we should not post images to discussion groups.

    There is an alt.binaries hierarchy for binaries, with an group for almost any type of picture one might wish to see. ASB readers will probably be most interested in: (a new group, may also be of interest, but it's not as widely carried). BTW, even where binaries are appropriate, copyright violations are not. If you don't hold the copyright to something, know it to be public domain, or have the permission of the copyright holder, don't post it.

    There's a lot of misunderstandings about copyright law. The U.S. code on copyrights can be found at copyrights, at

    If there is an image you really think people would be interested in seeing, it's appropriate to post a pointer directing people to the appropriate newsgroup. Similarly, if there's something you need to show people, and ASCII just isn't sufficient, it wouldn't be inappropriate to post an image to a binary group with a pointer/question in ASB (note: if the question involves some piece of equipment, and you can't post to a.b.p.e.bondage, but can post to a more general purpose binaries group, it might be tactful (i.e. less likely to result in a complaint from your apparently kink-sensitive sysadmin) to post a picture of the equipment w/o it being worn by or in use upon a person.

  7. Do not post private email to the net without the permission of the author. The first reason for not doing so is because the author's words are hir copyrighted property. The more important reason is because the posters to ASB place a high value on confidentiality (as is to be expected among people whose lifestyle exposes them to risk (jobs can be lost or children taken because of our kinks)), and so respect for confidentiality is a strong ethic among us. There are few ways to turn more people against you in a short time than to post someone's email without their permission.
  8. Do not post "Make Money Fast" or any of its variants.
  9. This applies not only to ASB, but to all, or nearly all, of Usenet. There's few ways more certain to get a deluge of angry mail, with some of it probably from your postmaster, than to post MMF, or one of the many variants of that chain letter, to nearly any active newsgroup.

    For the legal status of such letters (they're not, if something of monetary value is exchanged), check out the postal inspectors web page at: [Connect to "Consumer Fraud", then "Sweepstakes and Lotteries", then "Chain Letters"]

  1. Besides "Make Money Fast", there are a number of hoaxes, myths, things OTBed (overtaken by events) and general nuisances floating about the net which most people have heard many times and don't want to hear again, on ASB or elsewhere. Please don't perpetuate them.
  2. Foremost among them is the "Goodtimes Virus" hoax. It's a fraud (as is the similar "Irina Virus"). Check this out at: or

    For more information on hoax viruses, see the CIAC Hoax page at, or the more comprehensive Computer Virus Myths homepage at

    There's also such things as the sick boy collecting Get Well cards (also the sick boy collecting business cards), and the Very Expensive Cookie Recipe. Please don't forward them, and don't send any cards to the addresses given.

    For more information on these messages, check :

    Many also wind up in alt.folklore.urban Archives, which are online at:

  3. Do not knock other people's (consensual) kinks
  4. ASB is a refuge from a condemning world, and in this refuge there are a couple truisms: if someone has a kink, there is another who shares that kink, and there is yet another who is revolted by that kink (Ugol's law and its corrolary). If we start knocking each other's kinks, that's all we'll ever do, so one of the taboos on ASB is YKINOK (Your Kink Is Not OK). Please do not say that any consensual kink is not OK. It will accomplish nothing save to get you flamed.

    It is perfectly alright to say that a kink is not your kink. It helps, when discussing kinks, lifestyles, beliefs, and other deeply personal subjects to use "IMO" (In my opinion) and "for me" a lot, because no one can dispute what is right *for you*, but we're a rather contentious bunch on ASB and people often respond negatively whenever it appears that one is trying to say what is right for others.

    There is *one* kink that is almost universally condemned by ASB's posters, and that is real life (as opposed to fantasy or fictional) nonconsensuality. Consent is the ethical foundation of wiitwd, and we do not accept those who do not respect consensuality. However, there are several modes of consent, and one should be very careful before charging that something is nonconsensual that it is not instead employing a different mode of consent, one that while perhaps wrong for oneself, may suit another perfectly.

    And remember that any thoughts are OK, it's only nonconsensual actions that are Not OK.

If you are planning to post to ASB, there are a few things it helps to have at least taken a look at.