Internet forum for discussion of specific subjects. Newsgroups are organized into subjects (e.g., automobiles); each typically has several subgroups (e.g., classic cars, Formula One racing cars). A person starts a threaded discussion by “posting” (uploading) an article; the follow-up replies (including replies to replies) comprise the discussion. A newsgroup name usually consists of an abbreviation (e.g., “rec” for the recreation newsgroup) followed by subgroup names separated by dots (e.g., “”). Viewing and posting messages requires a news reader, a program that connects the user to an Internet news server. Most newsgroups are connected via Usenet, a worldwide network that uses the Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP). See also bulletin-board system.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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