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(also network etiquette, online etiquette)

Netiquette definition

Netiquette is a set of online etiquette rules for interacting politely with others. The goal of netiquette is to create and sustain a comfortable, pleasant, and productive environment for online communication and to avoid putting strain on the system and producing conflict among users. When it comes to communicating with others and using technology effectively when online, there are some guidelines known as 'netiquette' that should be followed. Different Internet subcultures have different standards for what constitutes proper netiquette, and these standards naturally evolve as new technologies emerge. However, there are certain broad guidelines that may be given regarding appropriate behavior while using the internet.

Principles of netiquette

  • Lurking. Silently reading and observing a group's posts. It helps one understand a group's culture, which is necessary for proper netiquette.
  • Reading the FAQs. Reading a FAQ section before posting helps new group members avoid asking questions that have already been answered, which typically elicits unfavorable feedback.
  • Remember the human. Using devices tends to make people indifferent to others' feelings, so they're more frank while communicating online. Users must be reminded that they are talking to individuals who have real emotions.
  • Avoid flames. A 'flame' is a highly critical or insulting message directed at a specific individual. Users are urged to refrain from flaming and flame wars.
  • Avoid shouting. It is not proper netiquette to type in all capital letters. To draw attention to a certain section of text without resorting to all capitals, one can use _underlining_ or *asterisks*.
  • Don’t abuse your power. As in real life, some people have more power online than others. They can be administrators, forum moderators, and company experts. You should not abuse power if you have it.
  • Respect others’ privacy. Never forward information without permission. Many people dislike sharing their names and email addresses with strangers. Uploading and distributing images and videos of others is also prohibited online. Always ask permission before sharing private files.