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3. What are the basic rules of "Netiquette"?


This article is from the Stop Smoking FAQ, by 70424.57@compuserve.com with numerous contributions by others.

3. What are the basic rules of "Netiquette"?

[An excellent site for learning about Usenet, Netiquette, and the Internet
generally is Brendan Kehoe's Zen and the Art of the Internet at
<http://www.cs.indiana.edu/docproject/zen/zen 1.0_toc.html>]

There are a few courtesies with which posters are asked to comply
throughout Usenet generally. They fall under the blanket term "Netiquette"
(Usenet etiquette), a simple code of behaviour which developed for
practical reasons. Here's a quick rundown:

a. Lurking.
In most newsgroups, you are requested to "lurk" (read but not post) around
a newsgroup for a few days before joining the conversation. By lurking,
you get a feel for a group's character, its conventions, and the people who
post to it. You don't have to do this in AS3! Jump right in and post as
often and as much as you need to, BUT if you're thinking of posting to an
ongoing argument or an angry thread which seems to focus on personalities
and not on smoking/quitting issues, it might be a good idea to hold that
post aside for a day or two, before you join the fray. In fact, the best
defense is often no defense. See "Flaming," below.

b. Flaming.
To flame someone is to insult them, their post, their dog, etc. Flaming
someone who posts to the group in order to sell something is a
time-honoured AS3 tradition which can help you release your anger and
frustration. Go ahead! It's always open season on Composters (just be sure
that's what you've got in your sight). But it helps no one when you flame
your fellow AS3 members. Your flame will in turn get a flaming response, a
flame war ensues, and soon the "support" in "alt.support.stop-smoking" goes
out the window. The best way to put the fire out is to not feed it.

c. Cross-posting
A cross-post is one that has been directed (i.e., in the To line of the
header) to more than one newsgroup. If it is necessary for you to
cross-post, then do so; if not, avoid it - it can cause trouble. Often
people don't look at the headers of posts and therefore don't realize that
you've cross-posted. Suppose you wanted to send fan mail to Will Wheaton
and you asked for his address in both rec.tv.star-trek and alt.wesley
crusher.die.die.die ? You can imagine the ensuing fireworks caused by
bringing these two groups together.

The thing to remember about a cross-post is that whenever anyone follows-up
to the thread, that post is also going to all the other groups in the
header. You can avoid this by checking the header of your reply and
deleting any groups not appropriate to your reply.

d. Quoting
It is often necessary to include some of the post to which you're replying
when you follow-up, because you'll want some context in order for your
comment to make sense. But it is seldom necessary to quote the *entire*
post. Cutting out any text you don't need saves bandwidth (what
information travels on from one computer to another) and helps the Internet
community in two ways: first, it saves your readers time (and often money)
by not making them download any more bytes than necessary; and second, the
less information crowding the bandwidth, the faster and smoother the
Internet operates for everyone.

e. Posting E-mail
IMHO, it's just plain rude to post private e-mail. If someone is sending
you aggravating, harassing, or threatening e-mail and they don't stop when
you ask them to, complain to their Internet provider. You can usually
reach someone's ISP by mailing postmaster@<site.domain>; or you can look
for the ISP's home page on the WWW, which will usually offer links to the
e-mail addresses of their staff. If that fails, contact the staff at your
own ISP and ask them to filter out that person's mail.


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