What is Netiquette?

According to Christensson (2006), netiquette is defined as “etiquette on the Internet”.  Just as life has rules, so does asynchronous learning.              

According to Adler, Rodman, and du Pre' (2012), many times, students have disinhibition when discussing topics in online classes. The rules of face to face classroom discussion are not always adhered to in the online learning environment. The lack of immediate consequences leads these students to say (type) things they normally wouldn’t in a classroom. Educators, researchers, and technological scholars have developed rules to abide by in online learning communities. These rules are usually called netiquette.


                                                          Image result for pics of disinhibition


Below is a list of netiquette rules used in online classes at the University of South Alabama (2012).

1. Be sensitive to different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, as well as       

     different political and religious beliefs.

2. Use good taste when composing your responses. Swearing and profanity should be avoided. Also consider that slang terms  

     can be misunderstood or misinterpreted.

3.  Don’t use all capital letters when composing your responses. This considered “shouting” on the Internet and is regarded as

      impolite or aggressive. It can also be stressful on the eye when trying to read your message.

4.  Be respectful of others’ views and opinions. Avoid “flaming” (publicly attacking or insulting) others.

5.  Be careful when using acronyms. If you use an acronym it is best to spell out its meaning first, then put the acronym in

     parentheses afterward, for example: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). After that you can use the acronym freely  

     throughout your message.

6. Use good grammar and spelling, and avoid using text messaging shortcuts.

7. In emails, always identify yourself and what class and section you are in. It is a good practice to put your course and section in

     the subject line. This helps your instructor identify course related emails.


Below is a list of 10 social media netiquette rules (Spira, 2010).

1. The Authenticity Rule – be real, and remember it’s not always about you.

2. The Google Rule – don’t let others know you have researched them online.

3. The S.P.A.M. Rule – everyone doesn’t play games and everyone does not want to buy your product

4. Spreading the Love Rule – Comment and share on your friends Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In pages  

5. The Personalize it Rule – when friend requesting – personalize your messages.

6. The Off-Limits Rule – Opinions on controversial subjects should be left out.

7. The Tag – You’re It Rule – Don’t post unflattering pictures of friends online and then tag them

8. The When in Doubt, Don’t Rule – Don’t overpost or tweet

9. The Send Button Rule – Be sure to edit before pressing send.

10. The Acronyms Rule – don’t overuse acronyms online.


According to an education website (2013),  cyberbullying is a serious offense and should be reported to authorities immediately. Parents should teach their children the following cyberbullying netiquette rules.

1. Don't bully or be mean to others online

2. Don't stalk or harass people online

3. Don't post pictures of people online without permission

4. Parents - don't let your children use webcams, Skype, or FaceTime without you there

5. Only add friends who you know

6. Never give out personal information 




Adler, R, Rodman, G. & du Pre’, A. (2012). Understanding Human Communication. New York: Oxford University Press.

Christensson, P. (2006). Netiquette Definition. Retrieved 2015, August 24, from

Spira, J. (2010). The Top 10 Rules of Netiquette for Social Media. Retrieved from


University of South Alabama (2012) Netiquette. Retrieved on August 24, from


Victoria Department of Education (2013).