What Does Netiquette Mean?

Netiquette represents the importance of proper manners and behavior online. In general, netiquette is the set of professional and social etiquettes practiced and advocated in electronic communication over any computer network. Common guidelines include being courteous and precise, and avoiding cyber-bullying. Netiquette also dictates that users should obey copyright laws and avoid overusing emoticons.


Netiquette is a short form of network etiquette or Internet etiquette.

Techopedia Explains Netiquette

This term was first introduced in posts of the satirical “Dear Emily” news columns in 1983, but it originated before the World Wide Web. In that era, the commercial use of public posting was not popular and internet traffic was dominated by text-based emails, Gopher, Telnet and FTP from educational and research authorities.

Although the specific rules governing netiquette may be different depending on the forum being used, it is equally applicable to chatting, blogging, message boards, email and surfing the Internet.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.