ARCHIVED: How can I post a message to more than one Usenet newsgroup?

Note: UITS has retired the Indiana University Usenet servers (,, and As a result, you can no longer access Usenet newsgroups from these servers. Also, local (IU) newsgroups are no longer available.

If you'd like to send your post to a very small number of newsgroups that are related to the subject at hand, you can add the newsgroups to the "Newsgroups:" line in the header, like this:


This is called cross-posting. It should be used with extreme discretion, since it can easily create long threads of discussion in newsgroups that don't want or have much to do with the subject at hand. It's often a good idea to choose one of the newsgroups to handle the follow-up discussion, using a "Followup-To" line:

  Followup-To: alt.usenet-kooks

Cross-posting is efficient because only one copy of the message needs to be stored on each Usenet server, no matter how many newsgroups the message was posted to. Also, with most newsreading software, people will only see the message once, no matter how many of the groups on the "Newsgroups:" line they read.

However, if you post to multiple newsgroups without cross-posting (i.e., if you individually post the exact same message to more than one newsgroup), you run the risk of making people very angry and getting lots of email flames. If the multi-post is widespread (popularly known as spam), it's possible that you will lose your account privileges.

The Usenet community is extremely sensitive to noise, and complaints are often sent to system administrators and postmasters in response to large multiple posts. Some system administrators will cancel multi-posted messages, so nobody will even get to read them.

Note: Some newsreaders do not cross-post properly. If you are using one of these, even if you construct your "Newsgroups:" header correctly, the newsreader will send individual copies to each newsgroup. If you are not sure how your newsreader handles cross-posts, try cross-posting to test newsgroups. For more information, see ARCHIVED: How can I test-post a Usenet news article? If your newsreader sends out multiple copies, you should either switch to different software or refrain from posting to multiple groups.

Related documents

This is document affn in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2008-11-01 00:00:00.

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