Hate in cyberspace Internet support groups for disabled people are being invaded by death threats and other obnoxious messages, in some cases making the groups almost unusable. There are about 50 Usenet "alt.support" groups, which allow people to discuss their conditions and learn about scientific developments. But groups covering spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and muscular sclerosis have come under attack.

Messages are crudely abusive, many linked to groups such as alt.test. If you reply, you are sent test messages that clog up your mailbox. Newsgroup users are advised not to respond to cross-posted hate mail. But death threats are illegal and should be reported.

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