Are you an Internet “Troll”?

Whilst most of us would consider ourselves to be well-mannered, polite and courteous in our day to day dealings with people in the “real” world, how many of us can honestly say that we behave in the same way in the somewhat anonymous arena of the Internet? It’s often harder to appear polite and courteous on the web as there are no facial clues or body-language to help others understand us, as there are in face to face meetings.

So, there is an un-written (well, mainly un-written) code of conduct for how to behave on the web, and it is known as “Netiquette” … snappy eh?

Netiquette is simply etiquette for the Internet, and these follow much the same guidelines as the daily etiquette we use in our off-line lives. But we have to use some common sense here; different parts of the internet can have different rules. For example, on some forums it may be considered okay to be rude, as long as you are creative in your rudeness! On other forums and community pages, it would be frowned upon to be rude or overly opinionated, you have to take a view on what is right, just as you would in person.

While on the Internet, some people seem to forget their manners. They post rude, racist, sexist and other extremely hurtful comments, things that they wouldn’t dream of doing or saying normally.

So, here are a few tips to help you be a good internet citizen, most are obvious I know, but worth pointing out…

Behave As You Would In Real Life – In real life, the majority of people follow the rules, are polite and do not try to hurt others feelings, replicate this in your on-line activity and all will be well.

Use Proper English – Use proper sentence structure, grammar and spelling so that others can easily read and understand what you are writing. Also, do not write in all capitals, it makes you seem like you’re shouting!!

Be Understanding and Forgiving – Not many of us start out being Internet savvy. So, when someone makes a mistake you should forgive and politely correct them.

Double-check before you hit “send.” – Many an embarrassing moment has occurred when a premature send has taken place! Save yourself and double check before you send.

Finally, remember the Golden Rule – Don’t say something on-line that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face!


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