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[alt.astrology] FAQ Part 8/11: Offensive postings

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Archive-name: astrology/astrology/part8
Posting-Frequency: fortnightly to alt.astrology
Last-modified: 2001/06/02
Version: 3.0
Copyright: (c) 1996 LMP McPherson, 2001 Sherilyn
Maintainer: Sherilyn <>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
All opinions on astrology are those of the original author, and
are NOT those of the maintainer.

As of June, 2001, this is a bit out of date and I'm rewritng it -Sherilyn.

           *** Questions about offensive postings ***

8.1) I enjoy many of the postings in this group, but there are
     one or two people whose postings are offensive and/or there
     are certain topics that just don't interest me. Is there
     some way to avoid seeing postings by certain people or
     concerning a certain topic?

Answer: Occasionally some unpleasant, boring, or obnoxious person
will discover the group and begin posting material that you may
find offensive or uninteresting (e.g., anti-astrology "flames"
and harassment, apparently unjustified attacks on individuals,
insulting or bigoted material, or self-promotion and thinly-
veiled advertising for astrological services in violation of
USENET policy). You may want to avoid even seeing postings by
such people. (For the sake of the group, please resist the
temptation to reply to such people with criticism or "flames";
they are more likely to leave the group if they are *ignored*
completely.) You may also find that certain topics are boring or
annoying. Fortunately, you can edit your "kill file" for the
newsgroup so that when you come to read the group, the newsreader
will mark as "read" all articles by a certain person or with a
certain subject heading. You won't even see those articles as you
read through the group.

The instructions given immediately below for altering the kill
file are for those people using the "rn" newsreader on a UNIX
system only. If you use some other newsreader, please ask a
consultant at your site if you can use kill files and, if so, ask
for instructions on editing the kill file for a given newsgroup.
Alternatively, get an informational file from the
ftp site (see the end of this answer). Instructions for VAX
systems appear later in this answer.

First, a word about kill files. Whenever you read a newsgroup for
the first time, the newsreader creates a kill file for that
group. The first line in the kill file shows the number of the
last article read and instructs the newsreader to take you to the
first article after that number. It says something like "THRU
###" (where ### is the number of the last article you read). This
line is updated each time you leave the newsgroup. Additional
lines can be added by you (through executing certain commands;
see below) so that articles by a certain person or with a certain
subject heading are marked as read before you begin reading
through articles.

If you come across a "thread" (i.e., a series of articles with a
certain subject heading), that you do not want to read, simply
type Shift-K (shift key and "k" pressed simultaneously) while you
are somewhere in the body of an article in that thread. The
subject heading will be automatically added to your kill file.

If you wish to mark as "read" all articles by a certain person,
you must add a line to your kill file that will instruct the
newsreader to search the header of all articles for the person's
name (or address) and "kill" (i.e., mark as "read") all articles
containing that name (or address) in the header. To edit your
kill file, type Ctrl-K (i.e., press the Control key and the "k"
key simultaneously) while reading the group. Alternatively, you
can edit the kill file with your system editor while outside of
rn. (It most likely appears in a subdirectory of your News
subdirectory called alt/astrology and in a file called KILL.) Add
in a line, anywhere after the first line showing the number of
the last article read, which reads as follows:


replacing "name.user@computername.institution" with the person's
address or name (if the name appears somewhere in the header of
the person's articles). The "h" after the "/" tells the
newsreader to search the header only. If you wish to have whole
articles searched (e.g., if you want to avoid reading articles
that mention a person's name, as in the case in which the person
is the focus of flame wars), use "a" instead of "h". The "j"
tells the newsreader to "junk" (i.e., mark as "read") all
articles containing the string that appears between the slashes.
(The ":" is just a separator.)

You will find that a properly updated kill file increases your
reading pleasure substantially.

If you are on a VAX system, try the following procedures (as
described in a posting by Julie): "The KILL facility allows the
user to filter through all messages of a particular newsgroup -
the read/new command will mark them as read without displaying
the text of the item and move on to the next unread item.

"It is possible by doing this to filter out all postings from a
particular sender within a newsgroup. The KILL command adds
entries to the kill filter list. Removing entries from a kill
filter list is done by the CLEAR KILL command. Editing the
existing kill filter list may be done with the MODIFY KILL

"The KILL command has three qualifiers: /subject, /from, /header. 
The /subject qualifier directs NEWS to add the current item's
subject line to kill filter set, and the /from directs NEWS to
add the current item's FROM: line to the kill filter set. The
/header qualifier allows you to specify any other header line you
wish to use to define the filter. The command will prompt to what
newsgroup you want the KILL applied to. The default is the
current news group * so if you don't wish to delete NAME from
another forum, you need not worry about this one. Other
newsgroups may be specified at this point by using the VAX
wildcard character ('*'), an asterisk, or a list of newsgroups.

"When reading any item from NAME, merely type in KILL/FROM at the
bottom of the screen prompt, if you work on the VAX mainframes,
and that will do it. You must be currently reading a message to
invoke this command, and then it will go permanently to all
subsequent messages containing this user address.

"In addition, the command KILL/HEADER="string" as in the example
KILL/HEADER="From: *@node.*" will do the following: add a pattern
to match against all headers into the kill filter. For example,
the above command would kill ALL postings from a particular node.
So if NAME is posting under more than one location, computers from
several places, for example the KILL/FROM will do it. But if it
comes from more than one name or is written by more than one
person, the command listed above will kill ALL users who sign on
from a particular node.

"Again, you must be currently reading the message for this to
work. And then it goes permanently into your personal kill file
for this forum."

Directions for using kill files are also available by ftp,
according to Sridhar Venkataraman: "Those directions (for nn, rn,
trn and probably xrn on UNIX) are available from by
anonymous ftp (login: anonymous; password: your email address):

"rn, trn & xrn: /pub/usenet/news.answers/killfile-faq
 nn           : /pub/usenet/news.answers/nn-faq

"If you can't do anonymous ftp, try sending mail to:  with  (either one of)
send usenet/news.answers/killfile-faq
send usenet/news.answers/nn-faq                     "

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