By Bonny Ibhawoh,

I participate in and contribute to several listserves and online discussion boards where, I am frankly dismayed by the language and tone of the discussion coming from scholars and activists who I would expect to be more civil, thoughtful and considerate in their discussions. The debates sometimes degenerate into banal name-calling and vulgar displays of “pseudo-erudition” — some kind of intellectual power tussle that I find stifling of productive debate. I call this pseudo-erudition because I believe that sophisticated thinking is often subtle and tempered. I see these displays of “pseudo-erudition” even of listservs that are supposedly dedicated to promoting peace and human rights. That is not what I think a cyber-community of scholars and thinkers should be.

I share here, the now famous “RULES OF NETIQUETTE” that I have found very useful and which I think should guide all internet discussions.
Excerpted from the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea. Click on each
rule for elaboration.
* Introduction
* Rule 1: Remember the Human
* Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life
* Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace
* Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth
* Rule 5: Make yourself look good online
* Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
* Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control
* Rule 8: Respect other people’s privacy
* Rule 9: Don’t abuse your power
* Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes