Big 8 (Usenet)

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The Big 8 (previously the Big 7) are a group of newsgroup hierarchies established after the Great Renaming, a restructuring of Usenet that took place in 1987. These hierarchies are managed by the Big 8 Management Board.[1] Groups are added through a process of nomination, discussion and voting.[2]


The original seven hierarchies were comp.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, and talk.*. They were open and free for anyone to participate in (except for the moderated newsgroups), though they were subject to a few general rules governing their naming and distribution.

alt.* was not part of the original seven but created separately as a place with more freedom and fewer rules than the Big 7.

In April 1995,[3] when Usenet traffic grew significantly, humanities.* was introduced and it and the seven hierarchies created by the Renaming make up today's so-called "Big 8".


Hierarchy Description Examples
comp.* Computer-related discussions, comp.sys.amiga, comp.browsers.www
humanities.* Humanities topics
misc.* Miscellaneous topics,,
news.* Newsgroup-related matters. This hierarchy was not originally intended for reporting news events. It was meant to deal with matters of Usenet in particular news.groups, news.admin, news.announce.groups
rec.* Recreation and entertainment, rec.arts.movies, rec.arts.poetry
sci.* Science-related discussions sci.physics, sci.research, sci.skeptic
soc.* Social discussions, soc.culture.African, soc.history.what-if
talk.* Talk about various controversial topics and discussions with no obvious categorization talk.religion, talk.politics, talk.bizarre,

The Big 8 Management Board[edit]

The Big 8 Management Board was originally created in 2005 from former moderators of the news.announce.newgroups.[4] The board's mission is to:

  • creates well-named, well-used newsgroups in the Big-8 Usenet hierarchies;
  • makes necessary adjustments to existing groups;
  • removes groups that are not well-used; and
  • assists and encourages the support of a canonical Big-8 newsgroup list by Usenet sites.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Big-8 Usenet - Big-8 Usenet". 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  2. ^ "How to Create a New Big-8 Newsgroup - Big-8 Usenet". 2010-07-07. Archived from the original on 2008-01-03. Retrieved 2011-01-08.
  3. ^ "RESULT: humanities.misc passes 508:97". 11 April 1995. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  4. ^ "News.announce.newgroups - Big-8 Usenet". Big-8 Management Board. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  5. ^ "Big-8 Management Board". Big-8 Management Board. Retrieved 2020-05-05.

External links[edit]