‘Netiquette’: 10 rules of coexistence on the internet

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As if it were a digital etiquette manual, these rules help us improve coexistence in the network

'Netiquette': 10 rules of coexistence on the internet

Internet is a free space, always has been, although we do not know if in the future it will be. The important thing today is that we can express ourselves in any way with complete freedom, but, just like in the real world, everyone decides their behavior, that is, decides whether to follow some rules of coexistence or not. In reality, greeting, having 'good manners', saying things head-on, not shouting, etc., are part of the identity of almost all people, but in internet nobody has taught us how to behave.

Leer en español: 'Netiqueta': las 10 reglas de convivencia en la internet

Most of the rules of daily life apply on the Internet, but there are some specific rules that would be worth reviewing. According to the marketing site Roast Brief, the rules of Internet etiquette, the 'netiquette', was born in 1995 in a document called Request for Comments 1855 of the Internet Engineering Task Force, an international engineering organization in charge of working in the normalization in the network. The document proposes the "basic rules of behavior" on the Internet, although, of course, since 1995 until today, the rules have been updated and even many new rules could be added.

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These are the 10 basic rules, also considering some proposals by the Global Marketing site:

  • Treat everyone as human beings: although we write from a touch screen or keyboard, who receives the messages is not a device, it is a person; you always have to consider it.
  • Live as in real life: almost everything we do in real life applies to the network: say hello, say goodbye, respect others, etc.
  • Do not write everything in capital letters: the analogy of using capital letters with screaming in real life has been made, then, unless that is your intention, do not do it.
  • Respect the bandwidth and time of others: not everyone has a powerful broadband connection, sometimes video games or streaming leave others without being able to use well the network, so you have to be considered if it is of collective use.
  • Show your best side on the internet: now that "toxic" people have become more visible on the network you may not be part of that group.
  • Share your knowledge: on the internet, there are groups for everything: art, music, sports, news, science, etc .; if you can contribute to any, do it, it is perfectly related to the previous point of showing your best side.
  • Debating in a healthy way: it seems that there are many people who only know how to be hateful in the network, do we really need to 'win' or 'lose' all the debates at any price? The answer is no, so if you are going to share knowledge and someone does not agree you can always speak well.
  • Respect the privacy of others: as in everyday life, the things that people entrust to you should be kept private. Why should the network be different?
  • Do not abuse the power of the internet: many people use the anonymity of the network or their abilities to harm others. Remember that we are all human beings and that we must show our best side so that coexistence is the best.
  • Understand the mistakes of others: no one is born learned, entering the network for the first time can be distressing and difficult, so understanding others who go through this process is very helpful.


Any other rule can be derived from these and, as we discussed above, everyone is free to follow them or not. As in daily coexistence, everything is based on the will and good faith of the people; taking advantage of the anonymity and powers of the network is a bad combination. As the phrase attributed to Peter Parker's uncle says, "Great power carries great responsibility."


LatinAmerican Post | Luis Ángel Hernández Liborio

Translated from "'Netiqueta': las 10 reglas de convivencia en la internet "

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