Frequently Asked Questions
1) What is "alt.parenting.spanking?"
Alt.parenting.spanking is a newsgroup on Usenet. Usenet is a text based system
of distributing postings in a group accessible format, which predates the more
recent World Wide Web by many years.
Some Usenet newsgroups are moderated, which means that one or more individuals
determine what and who may post notes to the newsgroup. Others are unmoderated.
Alt.parenting.spanking is an unmoderated newsgroup. As such anyone attempting
to be a NetCensor should be ignored as such.
2) When did a.p.s. first begin?
Alt.parenting.spanking began on 8 August 1995.
3) What is the purpose of a.p.s.?
Alt.parenting.spanking is a discussion group for the topic of corporal
punishment by parents in a legitimate fashion as defined by relevant law.
Any notes relating directly or indirectly to the issue of use of corporal
punishment by parents are on topic on a.p.s.
4) What is "spanking?"
The reasonable non-inflammatory definition of spanking is the legitimate and
legal use of corporal (physical) punishment in the furtherance of disciplined
behavior of a child by the parent or legal guardian of said child. The form
and manner of such corporal punishment is widely left to the discretion of
said parent or guardian and is fully within their legal rights and
prerogatives up to the point such actions violate the legal statutes.
There are those participants in the newsgroup who seek to use inflammatory and
emotionalistic, hyperbolic, hysterical and misrepresentative terms and
agenda-serving definitions which only cloud the issue and shut down any
reasonable and meaningful discussion on the topic. Such should just be pointed
out as such and then ignored as the intentional attempts at disruption that
5) May spanking fetishists post on a.p.s.?
Anyone can post to an unmoderated newsgroup, as there is little that can be
done to stop them, but since this is a parenting newsgroup, not a fetish
newsgroup, such posts are usually ignored or looked upon with disfavor.
6)Is "flaming" permitted on a.p.s.?
Since a.p.s. is unmoderated, posters are free to heap insults and slanders on
whomever they wish. Remember you can be insulting and offensive even if you use
only polite and diplomatic terminology and language. Profanity is generally
frowned upon as unnecessarily vulgar.
In addition to the obvious division between posters who agree with spanking and
posters who are against spanking, there is also a division between posters who
desire a civil discourse and posters who desire a "flame war." In the past
there have been "flamers" at times on both sides of the spanking issue. There
are also those who seem to think they are not flaming when they are, who do
not think they are being offensive when they are and who do not think they are
being uncivil when they are. Their swaggering selfrighteousness and holier-
than-thou arrogance will become readily apparent in short order.
7) What is a "killfile?"
A killfile is a simple feature of the software which you use to read Usenet
newsgroups. When you place someone's address in your killfile, all of their
notes will cease to appear on your screen. This is generally considered to be
the Usenet equivalent of sticking one's fingers in one's ears and humming.
The sole purpose of it is to perpetuate one's own ignorance. Whether or not
you read someone else's posts they can still read yours and respond.
8) Are discussions about Child Protective Services on topic on a.p.s.?
Absolutely! Since Children's Protective Services, by whatever local name they
go by, deal with issues of child abuse and since several extreme position
posters continue to claim that all spanking is child abuse, even that which
is clearly legal in all fifty states of the union, the discussion of CPS is
entirely on topic, because people should be entirely aware of what exactly
they are doing and causing if they report someone to one of these agencies.
Another newsgroup specifically about CPS is alt.support.child-protective-
services, and posts can be made there as well, but since the world is not as
ultracompartmentalized as some would wish it to be, such posts are also on
topic in a.p.s.
Those who object most strenuously to posts in the newsgroup about CPS are those
who tend to advocate or play apologist for those agencies and do not wish the
general public to know the truth about these agencies.
9) Are binary (image) files appropriate for a.p.s.?
Binary files are heavily frowned on throughout Usenet, except in newsgroups
expressly designed for the posting of binary files. Please do not post binary
files to alt.parenting.spanking or other newsgroups without "binaries" in their
names. Compared to the text messages which predominate in Usenet newsgroups,
binary files typically take up much larger amounts of memory space and
require more downloading time. Some readers of alt.parenting.spanking pay for
the online time during which they download new messages to their computers.
They will not be amused to discover that more than half of their download
consisted of a binary file.
10) Are fictional stories appropriate for a.p.s.?
It is very unlikely that a fictional story of any sort will be appropriate for
a.p.s. or widely appreciated by readers of a.p.s. Alt.parenting.spanking is
devoted to discussion of how spanking impacts the lives of the current
generation of non-fictional children. Unless your fictional story somehow
relates in a clear and direct manner to real-life spankings of real-life
children, it would be best posted elsewhere.
11) What is a "troll?"
In Usenet parlance, a "troll" is someone who posts notes on a newsgroup
intending to provoke chaos from others while they skip out and leave the
firestorm they created for the regular participants of the newsgroup to deal
with. No one likes a troll, generally speaking.
12) How can I begin posting to a.p.s.?
The best way to read and post to a.p.s. is to use a Usenet "newsreader" devoted
to the purpose. The "rn" newsreader is primitive but servicable. The "tin"
newsreader is recommended. Ask your ISP about accessing Usenet to find out what
is available for someone with your internet account. Also Netscape and Outlook
have newsreader capabilities and are usually available on most PCs.
Alt.parenting.spanking may also be accessed from the world wide web through
any number of newsgroup access sites such as Remarq, Google and others. Some
charge for their services, and others do not.
13. Is "terrorism" an appropriate topic for a.p.s?
Of course, not. Those who continued to post on the topic of terrorism
are spamming the group. They are showing that they have no respect for
the participants of a.p.s!