NETIQUETTE: What the hell is it?


What the hell is it?


“One person’s clever joke is another person’s offensive insult.”


Netiquette – Etiquette for the Internet. I know what you are thinking; they do seem to change the language every bloody day. To be honest, I had never heard of the word “netiquette” until I began this article.

So what can I tell you about Netiquette? A lot apparently.

Although netiquette is a relatively new concept. It has quickly grown into a transdimensional, multi-limbed, rabid, foaming at the mouth, social hydra: an insane beast with more teeth than the Osmonds. (If your over 30; you MIGHT get that joke.)

Since its arrival, netiquette has remained in a constant state of flux. Laws, bi-laws, counter laws, laws to counter the counter bi-laws by bilateral counting, are in a constant battle of dominance.

But worry not. I (your friend and omnipotent narrator) will attempt “too take you across safe paths through mist.” (Tolkien Reference, Number 1)



Well after going through dozens of web-pages, and reading numerous articles; I came to the conclusion that to post ALL relevant information would take a more than a 1000 pages. And we still wouldn’t get it all. So I’ve decided to post the most strongly emphasized “clauses.”

  • Use simple electronic signatures.
  • Avoid multi-posting.
  • Avoid cross-posting.
  • Avoid off-topic posting.
  • Avoid hijacking a discussion thread.
  • Avoid spamming people.
  • Avoid grossly enlarging script for emphasis.
  • Remember that YOUR posts are or can be made public.
  • Be careful what you post/email. (It can easily be sent to others.)
  • Don’t misuse the reply button.


As you can imagine, most of these “rules” require nothing more than simple basic logic and a little civility. No need to act like a cave troll. (Tolkien Reference, Number 2)

“When someone makes a mistake – whether it’s a spelling error or a spelling flame, a stupid question or an unnecessarily long answer – be kind about it. If it’s a minor error, you may not need to say anything. Even if you feel strongly about it, think twice before reacting. Having good manners yourself doesn’t give you license to correct everyone else. If you do decide to inform someone of a mistake, point it out politely, and preferably by private email rather than in public. Give people the benefit of the doubt; assume they just don’t know any better. And never be arrogant or self-righteous about it. Just as it’s a law of nature that spelling flames always contain spelling errors, notes pointing out Netiquette violations are often examples of poor Netiquette.”

I’m not sure who said the quote above. But it’s DAMN good advice. Perhaps you should pay attention to it. (Don’t you feel better and more civilised already?)



Netiquette is not alone. It’s bought its relatives with it. Cellphone, Text messaging, Social Media “netiquette” monsters have also been unleashed upon us. With dozens of experts inventing dozens of social “rules”.

This struggle for netiquette is like the proverbial spinning-top on a wobbly table; NO ONE knows when it’s going to stop or where it’s going to land.


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