1.6 Netiquette: Guidelines for Online Postings

Guidelines for Online Postings

Following these guidelines for public writing can help you avoid embarrassment later:

Know your Context

      • Introduce yourself.
      • Avoid assumptions about your readers. Remember that culture influences communication style and practices.
      • Familiarize yourself with policies on Acceptable Use of IT Resources at your organization (for example, see Central Oregon’s acceptable use policy).

Remember the human

      • Remember there is a person behind the words. Ask for clarification before making judgement.
      • Check your tone before you publish.
      • Respond to people using their names.
      • Remember that culture and even gender can play a part in how people communicate.
      • Remain authentic and expect the same of others.
      • Remember that people may not reply immediately. People participate in different ways, some just by reading the communication rather than jumping into it.
      • Avoid jokes and sarcasm; they often don’t translate well to the online environment.

Recognize that public writing is permanent

      • Be judicious. What you say online is difficult to retract later.
      • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the working environment.
      • Agree on ground rules for text communication (formal or informal; seek clarification whenever needed, etc) if you are working collaboratively.

Avoid flaming by researching before reacting

      • Accept and forgive mistakes.
      • Consider your responsibility to the group and to the working environment.
      • Seek clarification before reacting.
      • Ask your supervisor for guidance.*

Respect privacy and original ideas

      • Quote the original author if you are responding to a specific point made by someone else.
      • Ask the author of an email for permission before forwarding the communication.


Additional Resources



This chapter was created by Annemarie Hamlin, Chris Rubio, and Michele DeSilva, Central Oregon Community College
from Communicating Online: Netiquette by UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology [License: CC: BY-SA 4.0]