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how to properly communicate online - based on Virginia Shea's Netiquette book

The Core Rules of Netiquette

  1. Remember the human

Never forget that your message is read by a person with feelings that can be hurt.

Do not message anything you would not say to face-to-face.

Do not try to incite an emotional response deliberately.

  1. Follow the same standards of behavior online

As in real life, be ethical, and do not break the law.

  1. Know where you are in cyberspace

Standards vary across websites, so be mindful of the content and tone of your message.

  1. Respect other people's time

Recognize that not everyone prioritizes your messages similarly.

Send messages to the appropriate group of people.

When appropriate, use a private message (PM) over messaging an entire group.

Always check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and documentation first.

  1. Make yourself look good

Check grammar and spelling before sending messages.

Only send knowledgeable and coherent messages.

  1. Share your expertise

Provide help and offer answers for those who ask questions.

If you answer your own question, share the solution with the group.

  1. Help monitor hostile and insulting interactions

Do not respond emotionally to messages; give yourself time to cool.

Do not deliberately insult or try to evoke an emotional response out of someone.

If you do any of these things, explicitly apologize.

  1. Respect other people's privacy

Do not read other people's private messages.

  1. Do not abuse your power

With great power comes great responsibility. Use it well.

  1. Be forgiving of mistakes

We are humans, after all!

Credit

adapted from Virginia Shea's Netiquette book

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