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A Little Note on Netiquette

November 7, 2003

I was planning on making an editorial about the anime industry, but this came up instead.

You want to know why I'm devoting an entire editorial on a non-anime topic?

Some people just don't know how to behave.

Okay, folks. Hear me out.

Even if you're the President of the richest, most powerful country in the world, you don't just barge into someone's house or business and immediately start berating them for what they're doing wrong. Whether you're justified or not, you're going to look like a total ass, because by that point in time, you are acting like one.

This should be common sense, right?

Well, you know the saying: "Common sense ... isn't."

What *should* be obvious in the real world doesn't seem to apply when it comes to Internet culture. Perhaps it is the fact that we don't physically *see* the other person we're talking to, lending to a feeling that the other person "isn't real". Surely the whole telemarketing industry seems to operate on this very basis - since they aren't "real" people, they won't mind as much when we call them as opposed to barging in the front door during dinnertime ... right? Or maybe because they don't need to leave the house, people with less-than-stellar social skills feel they can get away with treating people less politely than anyone else would. Again, the Internet is "free", "fair game", so on and so forth.


Well, the telemarketers are wrong, and the antisocials are wrong.

Even on the Internet, people are still people. Just as you don't go into someone's house and start bitching them out for some perceived fault, you don't go on someone's web forum or message board to do the same. The Internet isn't all that different from the real world, because it is still run by the same rules - you screw up like that, and you'll get kicked out. Plain and simple.

Why people do not understand this is beyond me. Treat people kindly, and they will treat you kindly in return. Give people crap, and they will give you crap in return. This is a basic rule of human sociology here, and a rule that more and more 'Netizens simply do not understand.

Do I have a point here?

You bet.

The point is that this web board operates no differently from the outside world, no differently than a THEM event, gathering, or meeting. This is THEM's house, and you are here under THEM's rules.

As long as you abide by those simple rules, you are virtually guaranteed to have a good time so long as you get yourself involved - after all, you can't win if you don't play. And 90% of people on the boards are going to land in this category.

I'm not ranting about you guys here.

But the moment someone - ANYONE - tries to disrupt things, they *will* face the consequences, and no amount of whining, ass-kissing, or insincere apologies is going to make things good.

Call it censorship. Call it fascism. Call it whatever ugly thing you want to. It will not change the fact that you do NOT piss off the people in charge and get away with it.

I call it *life*.

So deal.

- Carlos/Giancarla Ross

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