Described as "Basic Hygiene for Usenet Software", the Good Net-Keeping Seal of Approval is intended to ensure that news readers are at least minimally idiot-resistant. Whether it succeeds at that goal is a judgment call, but its requirements are for the most part sound (if a bit heavy-handed at times).

To avoid the whole cut-and-paste thing, I'll point out that the full text of the GNKSA is at The actual document is fairly long, but most of it boils down to:

  • Display important headers (From:, Newsgroups:, Subject:, and a couple others
  • Make it crystal clear to whom, and to where, you're replying
  • Allow users to easily make new posts, reply publicly, and reply privately, and make sure they know which is which and what they're doing
  • Allow users to cancel or supersede their own articles, and not anyone else's (which makes GNKSA software pretty much useless for newsgroup moderators, but that's another story)
  • Respect netiquette: 80 characters per line, no obnoxious .signatures
  • Make sure what you see is what you post
  • Generally try to prevent the user from being a complete idiot

Software to be awarded the GNKSA includes tin, slrn, and Gnus. Software that failed to pass the test includes Outlook Express, Free Agent and trn.