"Cross-posting" is the act of asking a question of more than one site within a system.

As far as I know, it has always had a poor reputation, because doing so encourages answers that are not seen among the various sites. (I'm sure there are many reasons not to like cross-posting, but that's not the issue here)

Also, as far as I know, it is a behavior that is often desired by question-askers, especially if the question is ambiguous or broad or touches on disparate areas (e.g. "What is the words for the dial on the dashboard of a glider?" (good for ELU or Aviation) or "What is a good calculation method for attenuation of the radiosignal from Voyager I?" (good for math, physics, space exploration, scientificcomputing.SE) ). Which is all to say that it is a well worn concept well deserving of a name even if there is no specific mechanism that implements it.

I don't know the full history of it, but I became aware of the term with usenet in the late 90's where there was a mechanism to author a single message and have it appear on multiple usenet sites at once.

My question is whether 'cross-posting' is figurative. Does it require that the particular system being specifically engineer an option to post to more than one site (like usenet)? Or can it be used, literally, even if done by hand? Or does it mean posting to entirely separate engineered mechanisms like SE, Yahoo Answers, and my grandmother's blog by hand, just all in the same time frame? Which of these latter does the word apply to (or others if not these)?

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    So far as I know, the term has never been limited to a specific system or mechanism. – Hot Licks Mar 4 '16 at 19:38
  • @HotLicks so the term would apply to my last example too then? – Mitch Mar 4 '16 at 21:24
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    It simply requires that essentially the same message be presented on multiple sites, more or less simultaneously. If it's Facebook and the girls bathroom stall in the high school, that's still cross-posting. – Hot Licks Mar 4 '16 at 22:20
  • @HotLicks That sounds like an answer. – Mitch Mar 4 '16 at 23:37

One Usenet, a distinction is usually made between crossposting and multiposting. Crossposting is when you post a single message with multiple groups listed; most reading software is able to detect this and avoid showing the same message if a user reads both groups. And responses appear in all the groups (unless one of the responders deliberately removes groups). This is generally considered acceptable, so long as the message is truly on-topic in all the groups and the group list is not excessively large (it would be pretty unusual for the first requirement to be met if the second isn't), although some people have different opinions.

Multiposting, on the other hand, is when you post a copy of the message multiple times, each to a different group; these duplicates are not automatically suppressed, and the responses to each thread are not visible to readers in other groups. So this is almost universally frowned upon.

Most other online forum systems don't provide any way to link threads in different groups, so this distinction doesn't exist. In those contexts, I think the word crosspost would be understood to mean a copy posted in another group. I would expect opinions of the practice to be similar to that of multiposting on Usenet, for the same reasons.

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  • Does anyone actually use Usenet anymore?? – Hot Licks Mar 6 '16 at 23:21
  • Yes, it's still used quite a bit. I read about 2 dozen groups on a daily basis. – Barmar Mar 7 '16 at 0:54
  • It seems you just cross-posted the article from Wikipedia. I don't share the same opinion with Wikipedia, as the term is far more general, than just limiting someones thinking to Usenet, channels, etc. – Farside Apr 14 '16 at 23:25

Cross-posting is a generic term, which hardly could belong to specific system or specific mechanism of data exchange.

The meaning is next: the postinɡ of a message, link, image, etc., to more than one online location.

By online location, you may understand any web-application, a blog, social media website, or forum. Mostly is used only in the context of web-services and web-applications. If someone would re-print the piece of information in a newspaper, it's normally not called "cross-posting", but "re-printing", "referencing", "citing", etc.

Closest synonyms to cross-posting would be:

  • Share (Facebook, and other social networks)
  • Repost
  • Retweet (for users of Tweeter)
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