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What is Netiquette? Simply stated, it's network etiquette -- that is, the etiquette of cyberspace.  

When you enter any new culture -- and cyberspace has its own culture -- you're liable to commit a few social blunders. You might offend people without meaning to. Netiquette has a dual purpose: to help net newbies minimize their mistakes, and to help experienced cyberspace travelers help the newbies. The premise is that  if you follow a few basic rules, you're less likely to make the kind of mistakes that will prevent you from making friends.

We might not have answered all your questions about net ettiquette, but we are here to give you a guideline!

Rule 1: Remember the human

When you communicate electronically, all you see is a computer screen. It's frighteningly easy to forget that your correspondent is a person with feelings more or less like your own. It's ironic, really. Computer networks bring people together who'd otherwise never meet. But the impersonality of the medium changes that meeting to something less personal. Humans exchanging email often behave the way some people behind the wheel of a car do: They curse at other drivers, make obscene gestures.....  But the interposition of the machine seems to make it acceptable. Ask  yourself, "Would I say this to the person's face?" If the answer is no, rewrite and reread. Also, when you communicate through cyberspace - your words are written. And chances are they're stored somewhere.In other words, there's a good chance they can come back to haunt you.

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life

In real life, most people are fairly law-abiding. In cyberspace, the chances of getting caught sometimes seem slim. And, perhaps because people sometimes forget that there's a human being on the other side of the computer, people think that a lower standard of personal behavior is acceptable in cyberspace. Make sure that you do not break the laws of privacy.

Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace

What's perfectly acceptable in one area may be dreadfully rude in another. Because Netiquette is different in different places, it's important to know where you are. Lurk before you leap When you enter a domain of cyberspace that's new to you, take a look around. Spend a while listening to the chat.. Get a sense of how the people who are already there act. Then go ahead and participate.

Rule 4: Make yourself look good online

Take advantage of your anonymity...

We don't want to give the impression that the net is a cold, cruel place full of people who just can't wait to insult each other.While you will not be judged by the color of your skin, eyes, or hair, your weight, your age, you will, however, be judged by the quality of your writing. So spelling and grammar do count.

Know what you're talking about and make sense

Pay attention to the content of your writing. In addition, make sure your notes are clear and logical. It's perfectly possible to write a paragraph that contains no errors in grammar or spelling, but still makes no sense whatsoever. Don't use offensive language.If you do, it's preferable to use amusing euphemisms like "effing" and "sugar." You may also use the classic asterisk filler -- for example, s***. The archness is somehow appropriate to the net,and everyone will know exactly what you mean.

Rule 5: Help keep flame wars under control

"Flaming" is what people do when they express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion. Does Netiquette forbid flaming? Not at all. Flaming is a long-standing network tradition (and Netiquette never messes with tradition). Flames can be lots of fun, both to write and to read. And the recipients of flames sometimes deserve the heat. But Netiquette does forbid the perpetuation of flame wars -- series of angry letters, most of them from two or three people directed toward each other, that can dominate the tone and destroy the camaraderie of a discussion group.

Rule 6: Don't abuse your power

Some people in cyberspace have more power than others. There are wizards in MUDs (multi-user dungeons), experts in every office, and system administrators in every system.Knowing more than others, or having more power than they do, does not give you the right to take advantage of them.

 

 

 




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