NO BINARIES was invented by Ghostlight — then known as "Mu" — as an excuse to yell at people, and exists primarily as an obvious pun.
Within Usenet there exists 10 kinds of groups, a 'normal' group, and a 'binary' group. The latter is used for transmitting anything that isn't text — usually pornographic images, or movies of women being hit by trains. It is considered extremely poor netiquette to post these 'binaries' in a non-binary group.
NO BINARIES consisted merely of telling people that they were in a non-binary group and they should stop posting binaries. This was done in all-caps, and with a lot of swearing — just like a real request to not post binaries. The initial reactions ranged from "I didn't post a binary" to "WHAT THE SHITTING FUCK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?", regardless of which the request was repeated with more expletives. People would then try to explain that they didn't post a binary, or merely reply with mockery. Soon after the troll began, Ghostlight started to regularly change his posting name to avoid kill-files, began spouting nonsensical insults, and cross-posted the requests not to post in binary. As more communities became involved in NO BINARIES more people responded, and the threads grew exponentially.
Naturally the NO BINARIES troll revolved around the fact that all information on the Internets is communicated in binary, hence by posting those people were posting in binary; the correct response was none at all. The troll generally worked because the people involved had an inflated sense of superiority: they had to explain the difference between a 'binary' and a 'non-binary'; or merely mock the instigator for his ignorance of Usenet.
This troll will always work best on the people who think they are the most intelligent ones in a community.
The original NO BINARIES troll lasted for around four months, and spanned in excess of twenty communities.
Some of the original thread still exists on Google Groups,
- A typical reaction
- A perfect example of the style of comment NO BINARIES was to take during the later stages of growth
- "The joke has never gotten old and probably never will."
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