Netiquette: The Ten Commandments

As I have said before, and as real users of the internet know, the internet is primarily about human interaction. Naturally, this means that there arises disagreements, heated debates and rivalry often requiring moderation and adherence to netiquette.
The following are general principles of netiquette, or network etiquette:

1. Remember the human. Keep in mind that other internet users are real people with real feelings. Do not do something that you wouldn’t want to happen to you.

2. Generally, adhere to the same standards of behaviour as you do offline.

3. Lurk before you leap. Know where you are in cyberspace and get a feel of the local conventions before doing anything. For example, chat room slang such as lol or ig2g may not be acceptable in USENET.

4. Respect other people’s time and bandwidth. Before you post anything, make sure it is of benefit to those who will read it. If its in a discussion, make sure it is relevant, try to post in plain text and check spelling and grammar.

5. Before asking a question, read the FAQs.

6. Make yourself look good. Participate in discussions and post frequently, but not just so that you can see your name. Try to share your unique viewpoint, experience and/or expert knowledge.

7. Respect other people’s privacy.

8. Help to keep flame wars and other disagreements under control. Do not add fuel to the fire.
If you believe someone is wrong or hjas violated certain rules, tell him/her in private email – do not post a follow up to the offending post. Be polite as it may be an honest mistake.

9. Do not abuse your power. For example, if you’re a moderator or administrator, do not make life unnecessarily difficult for others.

10. Forgive others.

1. Wikipedia, specifically here.
2. The core Rules of Netiquette.
3. Because Netiquette Matters! Your Comprehensive Reference Guide to E-mail Etiquette and Proper Technology Use

Now, to bust some jargon.
flaming – act of sending messages that are hostile and/or insulting.
flame war – a series of flaming messages
pie-fight – a type of discourse specific to the internet and characterised by heated emotional arguments about trivial issues having little to do with the regular topic of discussion.
lol – laugh out loud
ig2g – I got to go

Additional Resources


  1. these are helpful points. i am guilty of breaking most of them but still quite a useful post. i will tweet it right now 🙂

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