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Internet Behavior and Ethics: Netiquette

Selected Links

The Net: User Guidelines

Core Rules of Netiquette

What's the big deal about netiquette? If you get the etiquette part, then you know that it's just a way of saying good behavior on the Net. Although respecting others' views, feelings and time--good behavior--seems fairly straightforward, the unique nature of many online communities can make it harder to meet those expectations.

In general, the distance imposed by computer networks disrupts our interactions so that people may become more vocal (mostly a good thing), but also more careless. We may forget the person at the other end of the network.

Amidst these difficulties, you should follow the golden rule and think of the impact that your messages might have on others. In discussions, point toward specifics and positions rather than personalities. Spend some time lurking in the groups that you join and familiarize yourself with their function and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

When responding to a position that you disagree with, be sure to cite or summarize the points that you find troubling. When challenged, try to clarify your position and respond with control. Debates will become heated, but remember the nature of these online forums and be considerate and you'll do fine.

Here are some additional netiquette resources.

The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette
Written by Arlene H. Rinaldi, this page addresses netiquette for several Internet media and provides general guidelines.

Dear Emily Postnews's Response to Questions about Netiquette
A sarcastic but useful look at some common behaviors on the Net.
Netiquette: Core Rules of Netiquette
A thoughtful list of guidelines for online behavior excerpted from Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

Dark MountainŐs Netiquette Guide
Thoughtful and thorough exploration of netiquette issues and strategies.

Author: Daniel Anderson
© copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Allyn & Bacon
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