Internet Etiquette: A refreshers course

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by CaptainObvious, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. I keep pissing people off, I don't even know how, luckily I haven't managed to offend anyone on here (at least not so far, if I have, I didn't know and I'm genuinely sorry). So to help me, (and other socially ignorant people -is that what you'd call it?-) How do you deal with other people on the internet. Lets make a guide, a basic "How To" on the internet, the language you use, what words or memes etc should you avoid? Is it ever okay to troll or should you NEVER! be that troll? What do you consider spam or inappropriate posts? Language, howmany f-bombs do you drop? When and where is it a no-no to drop the f-bomb or the ... other bombs!

    ((I'll edit this as ya'll reply to put together the comprehensive list, in the mean time ya'll keep posting your suggestions))

    RULES OF THE INTERNET (according to the lovely members of, links attachd to named)

    #1 CaptainObvious, Jan 17, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2014
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  2. One of the huge things I see on the internet that's handled awfully is opinions. Everyone has an opinion, and most of the time, it differs from everyone else's on the site (be it YouTube, here, Tumblr, etc.) When stating your opinion DO NOT:

    Be disrespectful
    Be a dick >.>
    Make some BS stereotype about certain people's opinion (Ex: "All people who like such and such are gay.")
    Use racial, sexist, homophobic, or ANY other kind of slurs against anyone with a differing opinion
    Just plain judge people who feel a different way about it.

    People on the internet take way too much advantage of the fact that they're anonymous, and feel that just because nobody knows them, that they have the right to be complete assholes. If anything, you should be nicer because you don't know anyone and they don't know you, because you don't know what the person behind the screen is going through, what kind of life they're living. I hope this was a help Miss KuroHime. :3
    ~Kurai (Nick)
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  3. Honestly, I have the exact same social rules for the internet as I do in "real life".

    Such things like:
    * Agree to disagree; never use insulting or degrading remarks
    * Never depreciate the usefulness of others in order to make yourself feel better

    * Never whine or complain excessively; don't use other people as an outlet (for anger, sadness, frustration, etc.)
    * Always compliment people- treat them like the individual they are
    * If you can't improve a situation, leave it alone
    * Etc.

    I don't really use the internet as extensively as a lot of people do, but using the same ethics that I use in "real life" has always kept me out of trouble and has attracted like-minded people to me.

    As for trolling, I don't think I've ever been "trolled" but, it sounds like it could be something bothersome, annoying or even scale up to bullying. I LOVE to joke around (every one at my office knows that I'm always making jokes or pulling pranks), but I never make them at the cost of someone else - and I would never do so on the internet.

    As for profanities, the f-word doesn't phase me. However, I don't like to use it, or that many curse words at all, because I can usually find a more descriptive word. I wouldn't be offended if I read a post covered in f-bombs, but I know that I would enjoy a post a lot more if each one was replaced by an accurate descriptive word.

    Like I said, I don't use the internet as extensively as most do - so I'm sure I'm a little naive on the subject. But, this type of attitude has opened a lot of doors to me, online and off! Hopefully it can help you.

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  4. I agree with you guys both ^___^ where I fall into problems tends to be humour, things that people find funny here, cause offence in other places/people. But, how do you know whether your jokes will be funny or offensive before you say them? How do you figure that out?

    It could just be that people in my area have particularly thick skins, or the people I'm talking to are incredibly easily offended, because it certainly isnt my intention to cause harm, yet if I say one thing to my local friends and the same to friends online the online friends will "overreact" to it and I am wondering do others encounter this problem, how do they deal with it?

    How do you know if making a joke about someone being a farmer (as in people here) will be funny, or offensive (probably somewhere else where people take farming incredibly seriously)

    I love your suggestions though, especially the one about being NICER online than in person because you don't understand the other persons circumstances, I hadn't thought of it that way before, although I always try to be polite!
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  5. Well... I mean, that depends on a lot of things, kind of. If you have a feeling that the joke might offend somebody, then it's probably best not to make, to avoid the drama. There's no true way to figure out if it's appropriate to make a certain joke and to be honest, different people are offended by different things, and I suppose it depends on you. If you feel that the joke doesn't sound that bad to you, then go for it. But if you have to question it, don't do it. :)
  6. @Tenshi, that appears to be my problem xD I guess I'm thick skinned, I don't take offence from anything! Guys literally take the piss about me being a girl all day without me getting remotely hot headed, yet there are loads of girls who are like "I HOPE YOU CHOKE ON THE NEXT SANDWHICH SOMEONE MAKES YOU YOU SEXIST PIG" ...

    If you hang out with someone for a few hours in person, you get to know them so well, with someone online you can talk for years, yet still not understand their humour entirely, its like, even though you can speak the asme language, and communicate, there is a language barrier over the internet, because you aren't actually there with the person ... I thinkk that anyway. Does that sound insane?

    I think, until I understand humour better, I should sit back and read/listen to comments and exchanges these friends of mine have instead of jumping right in. Sorta hard to do though when you have an absolute smashing joke in your head xD
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  7. We have a special cbox etiquette guide, and I believe it works for the internet as a whole too! O_O My big thing is that you shouldn't forget that people on the internet are real people. >> If you wouldn't say it to their face, don't say it online either.
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  8. Exactly :3
  9. It all falls under two rules for me

    Pay attention
    If someone's getting pissed, notice before they unload on you, ask what you're doing wrong respectfully, and follow through; pay attention to what you're saying and ask yourself if you have a negative tone that could be taken wrong

    Choose your battles
    Don't be a nitpicker and don't look for fights. Dont complain or correct every time you post, you should have a three to one sincere compliment to complaint ratio. Also if you're not going to change someone's mind, if it doesn't affect the story or writing, and if you could ignore it if you wanted to, don't comment on it.
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  10. Ohh, checking it out now!!! Some of the things that people get offended by really surprise me though, coz honestly, I say the same jokes to my friends but get an entirely different reaction!!!

    "If you're talking about a potentially offensive topic and someone mentions it's making them uncomfortable, be polite and change the topic."

    This is really important!!! particularly for me anyway since I keep accidentally offending people. Of course I always apologise, but this needs to be heavily stressed for those who dont.

    EVEN IF ITS OKAY TO MAKE JOKES ABOUT SOMETHING IN YOUR CULTURE OR WITH YOUR OTHER FRIENDS, IF YOU UPSET THEM APOLOGISE IMMEDIATELY, no excuses. It does't matter how funny you think it is, at least have the balls to say sorry when someone else doesn't, and don't be a dick about it!!!!

    Like twice this week (or in the last fortnight), I've had to say "Sorry, I thought I was being funny, I wasn't aware this upset you, Thanks for telling me I've upset you so I won't make the same mistake in the future, again, I'm really sorry I said what I said, if I'd know this is how it would make you feel, I wouldn't have said it/said it like that/etc".

    It really isn't hard to say sorry, and if you find it so hard to say sorry, take a long hard look at yourself and learn to say sorry politely and mean it.

    Everyone makes mistakes and is entitled to say things, right or wrong, equally, if you offend someone, on purpose or by accident, they are entitled to an apology and if you were in their position, you would expect an apology!

    Equally, if someone does offend you, tell them as politely as you can, "I didn't find that funny" or "that hurts my feelings" is much better than "Fuck you you dick! Why do you have to be such an ass all the time!". I can guarantee that anyone who has offended someone by accident feels bad enough without getting abused ontop of it!!!

    and when someone does apologise for hurting your feelings or saying something that makes you uncomfortable, thank them graciously. It can be very easy t just delete a comment, or unfriend them or ignore it, it takes a lot of courage for someone to say "Look, I said what I said and I'm sorry it upset you". So appreciate their effort, they are trying to mend what they done wrong and no one is forcing them to, so don't be that dick who tells them to "f**k off!"
  11. Do fuckshit things, get called a fuckshit.

  12. See this is where I think the problem stems from, what I am doing, and what many of my friends are doing (and most likely also having troubles too) is they are doing what they do in real life, on the internet, however, they meet people who are not from their "real life" and exist only in their "internet life".

    Thinks that are "fuckshit" to me might not be to you, and vice versa. I honestly don't think it is so simple. How does one know if they are going too far or offending someone when they say something view as totally innocent?

    I could say a blonde joke on here and find it hilarious, but someone with fair hair could become incredibly offended, likewise someone could crack Irish jokes and I could be offended, or I could do what I usually do and laugh at them.

    I wouldn't expect everyone on the internet to not crack Irish jokes just because of where I live, however, how is someone supposed to know if I'll be offended by it?

    I'm not an alcoholic, but if someone said "Bet you're off to the pub tonight again aren't ya! You Irish people are always getting drunk!", I'd be like "On my way to the pub? Are ya jokin, I'm already on my 5th pint!!! No seriously, I'm kidding, I'm not getting drunk every night."
  13. If your potential actions cause you to doubt the positive reactions of others just dont do it. it's as simple as that. When in doubt, don't.
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  14. But if you don't doubt and it causes offence, thats wherein the trouble lies.

    A good example I guess (and this applies in non-internet situations too) is with words like fag. My cousin smokes, cigarettes are called fags, and we all know that fags is also a derogatory word for homosexuals. If for example you were talking to a friend outside of Ireland/UK and you said "Fags are filthy/dirty" and someone reacted very strongly to it, how are you to know that they thougth you were referring to something else? My mom (went to the US) once got told (by an English friend) to not say "Give me one of your fags" outside restaurants when they were going for a smoke because they don't say fags for cigarettes in America, she didn't know that American's didn't use the term that way.

    I know this example is fairly obvious since a lot of people are aware that fag can have two meanings, if you were talking about cigarettes you'd probably say something like "Smoking fags is a dirty habit and bad for your health", but you get my example here, and someone who didn't use the term fags could either figure out you mean cigarettes, or at the very least realise that you don't "smoke" homosexuals and therefore assume you aren't talking about homosexuals and either ask "what do you mean by fags? I thought that meant gay" or they just conclucde you mean cigarettes.

    But in terms of lesser known colloquialisms its a massive grey area and people aren't aware the language they use means different things.

    A friend said to me that he thought we had good chemistry, I had to point out that I'm not sexually attracted to him, and he explained that he didn't mean physical chemistry, I'd assumed chemistry was physical, had he not explained, I wouldn't have known.

    The list goes on. How can we appropriately deal with these kinds of misconstrued meanings? Especially online, it is particularly harder, one cannot convey tone of voice, sarcasm, humour etc. If I am kidding iwth someone, they may not know it was sarcasm and take it seriously and so on.

    This kind of netiquette is notoriously buggy
  15. Internet and real life got that real twisted up Doctor Who timey wimey big ball of yarn-type bullshit going on.

    Don't nobody wanna say some things in particular while they're out and about in "the real world" because they know for a fact that those words are fucked up and wrong but come Internet all that shit is flying across every which way from chats to message boards. But when that shit causes a shitstorm suddenly "omg u gaiz it wuz jus a joke!", "I didn't mean it like that!", "Can't you have a sense of humor?"

    Fuck that type of derailing-ass fuckery, accountability dodging asking you to smile when they tryna serve you shit on a cake. Those motherfuckers can and should find the meatiest dick and ride that shit into hell, saying some tired old status quo-upholding "lookit me being edgy and transgressive but actually reinforcing everything I think I'm satirizing because I'm a piece of shit Jon Snow, knows nothing!"

    Nothing with an -ism has an expiration date. You can't have an expiration date on shit you still have asswounds stumbling around crying about how the way to "end" it is to "stop talking about it". Because that shit requires looking at the fuckin' world and recognizing and acknowledging every all which ways to Sunday that things are fucked up. "It's always been this way" my fat ass.

    People know very gotdamn well what things are "bad" and "offensive" but they feel pretty gotdamn free in saying it as long as they're quick enough to tack on "it's a joke!" and some side-smiling phantom cohort signs off on being their "Get Out Of [ whatever they're being accused of ] Jail Free" card.

    If folk can understand someone saying some shit like "Oh nooo, sorry I can't go to Whatshisface's party... I... I have to babysit my nephew." or "lol sry bro im going somewhere later bbl" as legit examples both online and in real life ways of avoiding something then whatever fuckin' pallid excuse of "how can I know???" ain't shit.

    So I'mma reiterate: Do fuckshit things, get called fuckshit.
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  16. I think you're entirely missing my point which I outlined rather clearly about double meanings.

    There's so many nicknames and words for "penis" or other body parts that half the time things I'm saying (purely clean) could be turned into entirely filthy things, same with everyone I know, because there are so many different ways to say the same thing, or so many words that have tonnes of meanings.

    It is entirely possible for a person to be saying something that is "fuckshit" and they are not aware of it, it is entirely possible for someone to say something that is "fuckshit" but the meanings totally flies over someone elses head.

    In your argument (if I understood correctly) you assume that every time someone says something offensive (particularly), they are entirely aware of it, which means they are entirely aware of the society and culture and local language and general experiences of the person they are talking too. Now, I'm only half European, and I don't understand a lot of colloquialisms here with people I see every day face to face, much less the kinds of language they are using in Algeria or somewhere else, so if I say something that offends and Algerian because I am unaware that what I am saying is offensive in their culture, how can I be saying "fuckshit" to them intentionally?

    If you expect (or anyone else for tha tmatter) expects everyone to be entirely aware of the cultural, social, economical and circumstantical situation of every individual they talk to in face to face or online situations, I hate to break it to you, but its time to wake up and smell the coffee. Those mass mind-reading lessons haven't been rolled out in European schools as far as I can tell so it is impossible to understand these sorts of things.

    I will agree with you that on the internet, because people have keyboard-balls and anonymity they can say what they like, stir shit and get a reaction which they wouldn't do in real life, but that does not mean that each and every instance of offence caused to someone on the internet is intentional. I'm sure on 4chan or whatever (askfm?) that is the purpose of their comments, however, there are a lot of decent people online just wanting to meet people, chat and learn about different cultures and customs, and in their adventures they step on some peoples toes by accident.

    I have certainly never intended to go out and cause harm online, and I pray I havent unintentionally caused harm, but I have said things that have upset people simply because I didn't understand that a certain word or phrase upsets them, same as in nonrmal real life this would happen.

    If I've misunderstood I apologize, but from what I read you seem to be missing the main point I made which is "not all fuckshit is intentional fuckshit".

    If people knew they were saying these things they shouldn't, they would probably not say them, (excluding trolls and people who want to cause harm), however its separating the "right" from the "wrong" which is difficult, and often online it only takes one slip of the tongue to make a massive problem.
  17. It's called common sense. You know ambiguous meanings? Then make sure you POINT OUT what one you're using. Don't leave room for error and you'll have no problems. You're complaining about people getting annoyed because they take everything you say the wrong way and you don't know why, but you're worried about offending people, so instead of flirting with the line, stay well away from it.
  18. It doesn't really matter what you say and do, you're going to offend SOMEONE at SOME point. All you can really do is use common sense with social etiquette. When you're cracking jokes with friends, totally okay to go with risky stuff cause you KNOW them and you know what you can say without someone getting offended.

    When you're in public, you tone back everything that you know is socially unacceptable, or might be too out there. You wouldn't walk up to a bunch of strangers cracking jokes about dead holocaust babies and killing cats. That's stupid. They're strangers. Why would you do that. O_O Even thought it's a joke, you don't take liberties with strangers!

    Just like you dun go out in public screaming curse words and having sex on picnic tables. That's all common sense public behavior. >>

    I believe that is what Koori is getting at. We all have a really good idea what is common sense to say in public around strangers.
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  19. I understand where you're coming from Diana, thanks for clearing up, slang really loses me though, it seems to be where I fall down because I speak 2 dialects of english (Irish English and Australian English) and the Irish have notorious humour (Dara O Brian makes a joke about the Gardai having 3 laws like "Ah you're being a rogue", "Stop it now, thats naughty" and "Right thats it you're takin the piss!" whereas in the UK he says that the law is basically the law. I think a lot of Irish humour can be like that, they can stretch things a bit far at times) Australians (my friends have told me Im not sure how true it is) are supposed to be a lot more racist than other people, since I come from a mixed race background, I like to think this isn't actually true or an issue.

    Take the Irish humour and put it in Australia and you get some confusion, take the Australian humour and put it in Ireland and some people get confused. Worst case scenario, some people get offended and you are unaware you stepped too far because in your locality that humour was acceptable and now suddenly isnt.

    So where an Irish or Australian person might stretch the laws a bit when it comes to social intercourse (as in talking, not sexual intercourse just to clarify) I think it is due to the tolerance of their society to such humour. Irish joke about the law and poliltical system a bit (I actually think it can be a bit disrespectful at time sbecause the Gardai do a good job) and no one seems to mind too much but, while I was in Germany the law enforcement institutions seemed to be held in very high esteem and you couldn't joke about how the Police Commissioner sounded like a farmer or how you once codded a gardai out of a ticket for going 2 k's over the speed limit.

    That is to say, when I think a country tolerates humour more than another I don't mean one country "cant take a joke" but another can, I mean that some strains of humour are frowned upon (or laughed upon) more than others. In Australia jokes about New Zealanders being "sheep shaggers" are hilarious, in New Zealand, jokes about Australian's being "sheep shaggers" are hilarious, yet once an Aussie tells that joke to a Kiwi, they get offended and vice versa, but if a Kiwi tells the joke to another Kiwi, its hilarious.

    German's joke about alcohol, Irish people joke about potatoes and alcohol, yet if an Irish person made alcoholic jokes about a German, they may be offended whereas if they said the same joke to an Irish person chances are they'd laugh and go to the pub.

    Jokes don't have to be about holocaust, nazism, racism or incest and murder to still cause offence. Blonde jokes seem pretty harmless, jokes about how stupid Irish people are can be pretty funny(and used interchangeably with any kind of group or stereotype provided you don't bang on about them all day, one or too Paddy Irish man jokes are grand) yet it only takes one really really highly strung person to explode at a blonde joke to totally kill a conversation.

    When jokes aren't even loaded, or a question isn't even a heavy question I don't see why there is such a danger.