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From Arizona State University's Wiki on Social Knowledge in the Academy


Netiquette is a slang word for network and online communication etiquette; the written and unwritten rules of etiquette that govern online interaction between users of Usenet, mailing lists, e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, internet forums, and online social networks. Etiquette is defined as the conventional requirements for polite behavior; properties of conduct; good manners. Basic netiquette as described in detail in Virginia Shea’s book asserts, first and foremost, to be polite when in cyberspace. There is a human at the other end; don’t relay information or impolite comments you normally wouldn’t say to the person if communicating face to face.

According to Shea the word "etiquette" means "the forms required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be required in social or official life."


Netiquette for the New Millennium is rapidly becoming a "universally understood behavioral standard that transcends cultures, businesses, and geographic boundaries." (Sullivan, 2002)

Cyberspace users need to be aware of where they are and use Netiquette rules where applicable. Rules will differ for Internet users compared to a commercial online service. Therefore, it is important to know where you are, listen and watch before joining into the mix.


If one considers the definition of etiquette by Shea and also understands the unfortunate truth that some people do not necessarily have the required good breeding for proper etiquette, then it may be easier to understand the need for continual knowledge on the subject of Netiquette. Whether in person or not, so long as a social setting is involved, there will always be rules for behavior. Those rules should not be diminished because there isn't any person-to-person contact.


Go to the wiki


Virginia Shea's Netiquette

Web version of Netiquette by Virginia Shea



Living Internet


Living Internet is the second book published on the Internet, and the first book to be published for the Internet. This site was written from 1996 through 1999, posted on the web on January 7, 2000, and updated regularly. It has more than 700 pages, 2,000 intra-site links, and 2,000 external links. The site was authored by Bill Stewart, who also maintains the FreeOpenSourceSoftware wiki and the best practices document The Fun Standard.


This image of a webpage on netiquette offers concrete details about form & content of Web communications.  Because this is just an image of the page, the links (text in blue, below) are not active. To access the complete page, including the active links, click here.


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