Netiquette is the code of conduct used by people while on computers. The anonymity created by a computer makes rules that are normally common sense (such as to not swear at other people) to be less apparent. There are also some situations that have no equivalent in the real world (such as spamming), and thus a separate code is required.
Like etiquette, netiquette is broad and does not refer to a select set of rules. However, attempts have been made to codify it, some outside of the Internet. Virginia Shea wrote a book called Netiquette, where she lists ten core rules:
- Remember the Human
- Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
- Know where you are in cyberspace
- Respect other people's time and bandwidth
- Make yourself look good online
- Share expert knowledge
- Help keep flame wars under control
- Respect other people's privacy
- Don't abuse your power
- Be forgiving of other people's mistakes
- Treat individuals online as you would face to face.