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Netiquette

netiquette

The first question may be, what is an appropriate manner to interact on the World Wide Web? There is an old adage: "A man learns manners from he who has none". The Internet, being what it is, allows people to anonymously explore and learn and output according to their deepest darkest self. In this, a whole new and separate culture has evolved around the Internet, like and yet separate from physical reality.

Setting aside moral arguments for another time, one must face the fact that with the development of a new culture develops a new code of behavior. This new culture, recognizing the fact that you, and they, have expectations on your interaction with other Internet users, has named this code of behavior "Netiquette".

There is a multitude of information available on netiquette, from web pages, to FAQ's to books. There is also what is called an "RFC", or a "request for comment" on the subject. As you know, there is no set of definitive rules governing the Internet. It's almost impossible, as it crosses all boundaries. RFC's go back to 1969, written by scholars to help define and develop the Internet, back in its baby stages. RFC's are about as close to official as we may ever get on the World Wide Web.

If you're really curious, review RFC 1855 for netiquette on all the various services of Internet. Otherwise, do a search for "netiquette", and you'll find a wealth of information.

Everything that we know about using the Internet is based on pure agreement, most assuredly that includes a code of behavior. So in the end, if you're not sure what's appropriate, allow the benefit of doubt for the other person and lean towards the side of politeness for response.

Internet Savvy
Netiquette | Digital Privacy | Internet for Families | Spotting Hoaxes | Junk Email
Computer Viruses | Hackers | Reporting Crime

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Material last updated March 2009

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