Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

5.13. Some people seem to post inane drivel: is there some way that I can avoid seeing their articles?

Some newsreaders, such as tin and trn, include a useful feature called the kill file, which you can use to skip articles you don't want to see. Kill files can be local (hiding from your weary eyes certain posts in a particular newsgroup) or global (hiding certain posts in all newsgroups.) With kill files, you can skip articles with a particular subject line, from a particular poster, from a certain site, and articles cross-posted from any other group (as well as other criteria.)

I use a kill file to hide all posts with the subject line of MAKE.MONEY.FAST, thus avoiding a pyramid scheme that won't die and messages from the people it annoys. You might use a kill file to hide the weekly-posted FAQ in a favorite newsgroup or to kill messages from a particularly annoying Usenet poster.

Read the documentation for your newsreader to find out how to use kill files. If you use rn or trn on a UNIX system, read the rn KILL file FAQ that's available on Usenet at news.newusers.questions, by anonymous FTP at or by e-mail to (put send usenet/news.newusers.questions/rn_KILL_file_FAQ in the body of the message).

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