Atma Xplorer

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Online Etiquette 101 – Social Networking Sites

I didn’t expect my earlier post, Online Etiquette 101 – Forums to be an interesting hit. I’ve seen several forums linking to it in order to educate some of the still newbies to etiquette online. Today (after more than two years since the original post), here’s another entry to the Online Etiquette 101 series.

Now since I doubt a whole lot of readers will go ahead and read the definition of netiqutte, I’ll just quote my old post here:

Netiquette (Internet ettiquette), is on it’s own unique to the online community you are participating in, be it a forum, a blog, a newsgroup or even just an IRC channel. Keeping in touch with our Filipino root’s and culture, it wouldn’t hurt and others certainly wouldn’t mind if you kept your manners. We’re known as a polite and hospitable people after all.


What exactly is a Social Networking Site?

A social networking site is a website where individuals can set up an online profile, describing his/her interests, and add links to other profiles. Generally, users are able to post personal information, including photographs, videos, and blog entries. One social networking site, MySpace, is extremely popular both with individuals and with music groups, who can post their songs on their profile pages and advertise their tour dates. Many bands will attempt to solicit as many “friends” as possible on social networking sites, so that more people will be aware of their music.

Social networking sites are popular with people all over the world, particularly teenagers and people in their twenties. Because social networking is so popular with teenagers, some people are concerned that teenagers and kids who post personal information on MySpace and other social networking sites are at risk of being solicited by pedophiles. As a result, some social networking sites have taken precautions to monitor the information provided by underage patrons; however, there is no way to enforce proof of age or identity, so this issue is currently unresolved.

Social networking sites can be a great way to stay in touch with a large group of people. If you have news you’d like to share with everyone you know, you can simply post it on your own personal bulletin board, and it will be distributed to everyone on your friends list. Social networking sites can also be helpful for connecting with new people, whether on a business, friendship, or a romantic level.

quoted from Wise Geek

If you’re still unsure what a social networking site is, it’s an online place to “eyeball” in the loosest sense of the word, to share info, socialize, chat, play games, what have you.

Friendster, Facebook, Plurk, Twitter, MySpace, etc. These are popular SNS that our kayabayan’s frequent to.

Guidelines on surviving a social networking site

Read the Terms of Service (T.O.S.)

The T.O.S. is basically a long legalese of do’s and don’ts on the SNS that it’s owners put out when you sign up for their service. But really, who reads them? You? How about you over there? You in the back? No one right. Let’s change that. The T.O.S. is there for you to read, not an annoyance to prevent the owners from getting sued in case something bad happens (tho that’s usually the case). Read it, if not, turn to the next item..

Do not upload things you don’t want others (e.g. your boss, wife, bf, etc) to see

Yes, some services like facebook provide some means of controlling who gets to see what but what if you account gets compromised? What if you accidentally posted it as public and comeback five minutes later with the whole internet now hounding your heels? Practice some restraint. Don’t upload something you really don’t want to leak out.

Credit where it’s due

If you found something on the internet and you want to share it, try to give where credit is due. It’s not only polite to do so but it gives praise and attention to the original creator of what you’ve shared.

Rules, rules, rules

We got rules everywhere so you surely shouldn’t expect the internet to be free of them. The point is though, if that you can’t/wan’t to read the T.O.S of the SNS you’re on, make sure to at least learn some of the rules of the trade.

  • Don’t Spam – oh yes, even in SNS sites like facebook or twitter, we have spam. It’s part of life but you really shouldn’t participate as you can either have your post deleted, account disabled, or even recieve a permaban on your account. If you haven’t seen what spam is like, just look at the nonsensical post shown below:
  • Advertise with moderation – If you want others to see something (and subsequently like it), don’t put it on every post you see. It’s stupid and will likely get you flagged as a spammer, get your post deleted or get banned. Save yourself the trouble and do it properly.
  • Get some common sense – This should be the Golden rule but really, it seems like a lot of people forget about it.
  • Don’t be stupid – While some people lack common sense, some people are simply down right stupid. If you see something like the image below, will you click it?

    If you did click it, then you’re being stupid. Chances are, your computer is riddled with bazillion spywares that are either spamming your accounts or stealing your important information. Learn some internet smarts.

  • Stop proliferating Chain Letters – I’m going to put emphasis on this one because.. GOD.. WHAT ARE YOU FIVE? A lot of admins automatically mark these types of posts as spam so why bother at all? It certainly doesn’t benefit anyone except… well no one at all. o_O. Below are some examples:



This post is still a work in progress (and requested by a friend who’s current sideline is SNS moderation). If you have any suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment. If you like this, please share it :)

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Comments ( 3 )

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  1. shirerocks August 7, 2010 Reply

    Facebook users should take this by heart. Thumbs up!

  2. Excellent. All spammers and molesters beware.

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