Long before there was a /b/, long before there was an ED, long before there was internets, long before anyone reading ED was born, Internet users would gather on Usenet to swap computer support tips, erotic stories, recipes, political opinions, and other bulletin-board material. alt.tasteless was the /b/ of Usenet, a group inhabited by self-declared pedophiles, BDSM freaks, scat enthusiasts, IRL guro aficionados, medical fetishists, and other upstanding members of the Internet community. As one contemporary described it:
It's unbelievable the filth they talk about on that group! Mostly about taking big shits, like that's something to be proud of, right? Then some lady was talking about stretching out her boyfriends testicles as a form of sex play. Plus a lot of articles involving murder crimes and substance abuse. Gay men offering themselves for sex. They also were discussing what would be worse, getting hit in the face with a shovel or getting a cactus stuffed up your behind.
Chronic alt.tasteless users were usually not the basement dweller type one may find on /b/, since most of the prolific posters had already established themselves prior to eternal September and the invasion of Assholes On Line. Often, they were college students, Bastard Operators From Hell, and computer programmers or system analysts.
- Constantino Tobio, Jr., a.k.a. "Trashcan Man" was a history major at Columbia with a curious fear of vegemite, one of alt.tasteless' Holy Sacraments along with the Grogan. Trashcan Man's role in the alt. tasteless invasion of rec.pets.cats was detailed in the Wired article cited below, to the great consternation of other a.t'ers who naturally felt that Trashcan Man was a newbie upstart who got lucky by getting his name in print.
- Geoff Miller, a systems analyst at Sun Microsystems who loved to flame the shit out of newbies whom he did not deem tasteless enough. He frequently scoffed at those he'd offended, especially when they threatened to rat him out to his ISP. He clearly explained that his ISP had a hands-off policy with regard to user activity, and that even if they did revoke his service, there were many other service providers who would gladly take his money. Note, young man, that this was in the days of yore when there were literally thousands of ISP's available.
- Robert/Roberta Hatch whose .sig proclaimed allegiance to "Dykes on Bikes" of San Francisco, Calif. was the resident trap on a.t. Since s/h/it posted about menstrual blood clots and vaginal secretions that heretofore had never been described on the net in such exacting detail, it was possible to suspend disbelief that he was, in fact, a sick, sick man.
- Tae Hyong Kim, the paramedic with a heart of coal, who would dialup alt.tasteless after work in order to make fun of the patients he had taken care of that day. He especially relished relaying information about stupid deaths and suicides, and was quite possibly one of the inspirations for the Darwin Awards.
- PRED, a self-proclaimed IRL sexual predator and pedophile. Author of the "Lolita Method", a guide for seducing underage girls, numerous guro stories, and a number of highly racist and misogynistic essays, namely  and . Disappeared from the Internet years ago, presumably in prison. 
- Hollister, a militant faggot who described the joys of fucking men bareback in the ass in the age of GRIDS. He enjoyed water sports, drugs, and alcohol, and often woke up soaked in another man's piss.
In 1993, alt.tasteless members orchestrated one of the first forum invasions, in which rec.pets.cats (a newsgroup for cat-lovers) was mercilessly trolled. The thread is archived by teh Google here: . The thread was an epic win to the extent that the butthurt members of r.p.c. conspired to get the original posters b& from the Internet.
Scatological themes are heavily discussed on alt.tasteless, some famous threads include stories of diarrhea , constipation , extreme constipation , sewage plants , shitting one's self , anal surgery , and gigantic fucking enemas .
Other themes frequently discussed in posts
- Turd taxonomy
- Measuring your dick with a Hollister catheter gauge at least ten years before Maxim Magazine figured that out.
- How to find good autopsy photos, pre-rotten.com.
- Recipes for barbeque sauce for human flesh.
- Skullfucking, or "squicking," a word created by onomatopoeia which is supposed to approximate the sound of a cock engaging in coitus with an empty eye socket.
- Things that "squick" or do not "squick" posters. Here the word had shifted semantically to mean approximately "to completely and utterly disgust someone."
- "Grogans," or turds.
- Vaginal secretions, menstrual blood, and earning one's "red wings."
- Retards, the Special Olympics.
- Darwin Awards.
- Fucking dwarves.
- Vegemite vs. Marmite.
- Dirty Australian girls, dirty Italian girls.
- Puking, and the joys of making others do it.
- Urban legends, such as the one about the guy who lost one of his testicles in an industrial accident and was said to have sewn his scrote back together with copper wire, and the rocket car myth busted on Mythbusters.
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