There Is No Cabal

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There Is No Cabal symbol

There Is No Cabal (abbreviated TINC[1]) is a catchphrase and running joke found on Usenet.[2] The journalist Wendy M. Grossman writes that its appearance on the alt.usenet.cabal FAQ reflects conspiracy accusations as old as the Internet itself.[3] The anthropologist Gabriella Coleman writes that the joke reveals "discomfort over the potential for corruption by meritocratic leaders".[2]


The phrase There Is No Cabal was developed to deny the existence of the backbone cabal, which members of the cabal denied. The cabal consisted of operators of major news server newsgroups, allowing them to wield greater control over Usenet.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TINC". The Jargon File. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Coleman, E. Gabriella (2013). Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. Princeton University Press. pp. 127, 136. ISBN 978-0-69-114460-3. cabal.
  3. ^ Grossman, Wendy M. (2001). From Anarchy to Power: The Net Comes of Age. New York University Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-81-473141-4. cabal.
  4. ^ "backbone cabal". The Jargon File. Retrieved August 15, 2020.

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